The Supersalone is the first great Italian design fair since the pandemic erupted


Italy’s “Supersalone” (from 5th to 10th September, Milano, Italy) will be a special project through which the Salone del Mobile.Milano intends to serve as a promoter of and catalyst for activities, thoughts and feelings that will allow the entire design sector and the supply chain as a whole to breathe life into a new Renaissance.

Innovation, attention to environmental impact, creativity tout court, cultural exchange, and digital experiences are the “supersalone” buzzwords.

The 2021 Salone del Mobile event will open with the accent on safety, design transversality and green commitment. It will feature 423 brands and 50 independent producers, 170 projects from 48 design schools, 20 of the most influential figures on the creative scene today, 110 Compasso d’Oro award-winning chairs, six great chefs, five films selected by the MDFF and 200 trees from Forestami.

Work on the “supersalone” is going full pelt, helmed by the curator Stefano Boeri, the international team of co-designers – Andrea Caputo, Maria Cristina Didero, Anniina Koivu, Lukas Wegwerth, Marco Ferrari and Elisa Pasqual of Studio Folder along with Giorgio Donà, co-founder and director of Stefano Boeri Interiors.

423 brands in all goods categories will set out their wares in four pavilions, in a committed response to the call from the Salone del Mobile.Milano and the curator Stefano Boeri, and the firm belief that the “supersalone” will become a symbol of a new design Renaissance.

@Kata by Altherr Désile Park for Arper

“The “supersalone” will be the first great Italian fair since the pandemic erupted. Super because it’s unmissable.

Unmissable because it will see the great design brands, the young makers, the international schools, the great icons of design, the most renowned Italian chefs and many stars of the art and architecture scene gathered together for the first time. Unmissable because everybody will have a chance to see the top products from the top companies – live – and purchase or reserve them on the Salone del Mobile web platform. Unmissable because all the display components have been designed to be reused or recycled. Unmissable because at such a difficult time in our history we’ve mustered the courage, the passion and the generosity of the best of Italian business and creativity. “supersalone” is a cheerful response from a SuperItaly after the long night of the pandemic,” said the architect Stefano Boeri, curator of the event.

With circularity and sustainability uppermost, all the materials and components used in the installation designed by Andrea Caputo – long parallel sets, designed for the specific goods categories, and the communal areas such as the Food Courts, arenas and lounges designed by Stefano Boeri Interiors – have been devised in collaboration with Lukas Wegwerth to be dismantled and reused. With the onus on circularity, the installation systems, which involve no loose components and reduced amounts of material, will be completely recycled. All the chipboard panels made from 100% recycled timber will go back into the production cycle. The overall benefit from avoiding emissions of CO2 deriving from the use of post-consumer reclaimed material is a lower emissions figure of 1.125.000 kg CO2eq. The same goes for the bricks used in The Lost Graduation Show installation, which are all reusable; all the arenas, benches and seating will be “dry” mounted and can therefore be disassembled and used again at different times and in different contexts.

The trees supplied by Forestami will underscore the green credentials of “supersalone” with an ad hoc project that provides for a “forest” of around 100 trees through which the turnstiles at the East Gate entrance can be accessed. Another 100 tall trees will lead visitors into the various exhibition areas and living areas dedicated to relaxation. The selected trees – lime, ash, oak, flowering plum trees – will subsequently be planted in Milan’s metropolitan area.

One of the special “supersalone” exhibitions will be The Lost Graduation Show, curated by Anniina Koivu, showcasing 170 projects from students who graduated between 2020 and 2021, hailing from 48 design schools in 22 different countries in all five continents. A first in the history of the Salone that will involve every sector of furniture design and more besides. Incursions into the world of mobility, inclusive, medical and sports design, research into materials and design sustainability will map out the status quo of the entire sector. An example of how the Salone del Mobile.Milano works to support design schools, promoting the latest generation of designers, narrating their enthusiasm, courage and efforts at a time when the profession is undergoing swingeing change.

The exhibition Take Your Seat / Prendi Posizione – Solitude and Conviviality of the Chair / Solitudine e Convivialità della Sedia, curated by Nina Bassoli in partnership with ADI / Compasso d’Oro Award, will be another major highlight.

Featuring 30 Compasso d’Oro award-winning chairs and more than 80 chairs that have gained honourable mentions ranged around the four “supersalone” pavilions, the design exhibition will tell the story of the most iconic of all design objects, the chair, more capable of synthesising the value of good design than any other artefact. Split into four themed sections, with the addition of an “extra” section at the ADI Design Museum – the ideal end or start point to the visit – it will illustrate just how design has harnessed languages and content throughout the great changes in society and how it has managed to respond to new cultural paradigms with new inventions.

Devised by Maria Cristina Didero, the “supersalone” programme will be packed with conversations, talks and lectures by designers, architects, artists, scholars and managers from all over the world.

There are many famous names among them: from Humberto Campana to Bjarke Ingels, Carsten Höller, Paola Pivi, Beatriz Colomina, Cecilia Alemani, Formafantasma and Philippe Malouin. There will be three fixed appointments every day: round tables at 12pm, talks at 3pm and lectures at 5pm. In addition to these events and in collaboration with the Milano Design Film Festival, every day at 4pm studies, biopics and docufilms will allow for crosscutting insight into design, architecture and the current social and sustainable implications. Th programme includes Newmuseum(s). Stories of Company Archives and Museums by Francesca Molteni; Tokyo Ride by Ila Bêka and
Louise Lemoine; Paradigma Olivetti by Davide Maffei; Precise Poetry. Lina Bo Bardi’s Architecture by Belinda Rukschcio and Honeyland by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov.

“supersalone” is also and especially open to cross-pollination between different spheres and languages, featuring Identità Golose Milano – International Gastronomic Hub in the event, because food is a product on the same level as any other, and has always evolved on the basis of human creativity and need. It calls for careful planning and the study of craft and industrial processes, both traditional and otherwise. It also requires a good pinch of curiosity and openness. The Identità Golose Food Court is a new bespoke concept tailor made for “supersalone,” conceived as an integral part of the visitor experience and an opportunity to savour the original recipes of some of the greatest Italian chefs and artisans, including Carlo Cracco with pastry chef Marco Pedron, Massimo Bottura with the workshop Il Tortellante, Michelin star chefs Cristina Bowerman and Matias Perdomo, Eugenio Boer, the Italo-Dutch chef renowned for the international influences that he weaves into his cuisine, as well as Renato Bosco, considered one of the greatest master of pizza, the great ice-cream maker Paolo Brunelli and Andrea Besuschio, who has been ranked among the top 10 best pastry chefs in Italy for years. Each of them will come up with an iconic dish – either sweet or savoury – that the public will be able to purchase, putting together their own ideal menus to enjoy in an informal and inclusive environment.

  • “supersalone”. From 5th to 10th September
  • Rho Milan Fairgrounds;
  • From 10am to 7pm (Friday: 10am to 4pm);
  • Open to the general public everyday.