Is Milan’s Salone Del Mobile Becoming Too Commercial? by Financial Times

By Serena Tarling for Financial Times

The furniture fair is a showcase for the world’s best designers — but some critics say it is now too much of a marketing operation.

Salone del Mobile in Milan is nothing if not a spectacle. Leading designers from all over the world launch their collections at the main fairground in Rho. Meanwhile, the non-curated Fuorisalone, which is spread across palazzi and public spaces in the centre of the city, is packed with theatrical displays, which this year range from Lee Broom’s 1940s department store to Studio Appétit’s display of edible design.

Vesna and Jovan Jelovac, its organisers, are seeking to challenge the established business model by helping emerging talents “take control of their own future” by being designers, makers and entrepreneurs. Among the installations, Buro Belén, a studio formed by two graduates of Design Academy Eindoven, used rose quartz and soft spheres of fabric for its eye-catching Falling Rocks series of tables. Meanwhile, Swiss designer Tom Strala showcased his tables, lights and chairs made out of concrete and steel.

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