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For the first time in 59 years, the Salone del Mobile was canceled due to the Covid-19 emergency.

While the Salone del Mobile is postponed to 2021 – official new dates are 13-18 April 2021 – the Fuorisalone, the design event, which the whole world envies us and which takes place in the whole city of Milan, will try a new, digital way.

No physical events or installations, this year the Fuorisalone goes digital.

The first digital edition of the Fuorisalone will be held from 15 to 21 June.
The intent is to communicate new products, discuss how design can give its contribution to the current situation, export the Fuorisalone event with live talks, previews, documentaries, webinars and interviews.

This will make Milan Design Week more accessible. Surely what digital cannot do is replace the experience that is Fuorisalone in the first place.
This first edition will be a test, admirably the district organizers have managed to react to the cancellation of the Design Week creating digital contents. Surely these new ways will be an important tool in future editions.

Here is what will happen in this digital Fuorisalone:

Fuorisalone.it presents the new Fuorisalone Digital platform and launches new channels: Fuorisalone TV, Fuorisalone Meets, Fuorisalone China and Fuorisalone Japan.

Fuorisalone TV

Fuorisalone TV is a streaming video platform where video content dedicated to the design world, it will be available for free from 15 to 21 June.
After this week, video content will continue to be available on-demand with free access.

Four daily appointments will animate the video platform every day.
Among the scheduled content there is Rethink! Service Design Stories, the first festival in Italy dedicated to service design and innovation promoted by POLI.design – Politecnico di Milano.

Every day from 2.30 pm to 3.00 pm Il senso del Design, by Casa Corriere, will offer interviews with designers and architects.

Today, Monday 15 June, at 6 pm, the Redesigning the system talk organized by Belgium is Design will tell about the Belgian experience in responding to the Covid-19 emergency.
On Belgium is Design website you can discover designers and products that would have been present at Fuorisalone, even the nine young designers who would have exhibited at the Salone Satellite.
In particular, I liked this phrase in the Belgium is Design press release:

“Milan’s Design Week is not only
about business and commissions, but it is also
about sharing an experience, within context and
a timeframe. The design system needs to be
protected. On the other hand, design needs to
become involved in redesigning the system.” Belgium is Design

Worth, from 15 to 21 June it will be a daily strip at 12 noon that will present selected projects from the circular economy, and at the same time, it would be possible interactions with the designers on zoom.

On Tuesday 16 June at 3.30 pm the European Institute of Design invites to a live talk on the new normality of the education system: scenarios, opportunities, and fears.

On-demand documentaries

Many documentaries are always available for free On the Fuorisalone TV platform.
I want to see these:

The new Bauhaus. The life and legacy of Moholy-Nagy.

AboutCambio – Formafantasma, the story behind the exhibition Cambio by the Italian duo at the Serpentine Galleries opened just a few days before the lockdown.
The exhibition questions the role that design can play in environmental awareness by telling the Val di Fiemme disaster that in 2018, in one night, lost 14,000 trees due to a storm, an event that certainly had strong ties with climate change.

Mio padre Franco Albini. Marco Albini talks about his dad, one of the most important Italian designers and architects.

Dimmi di Vico. A series of videos produced by the Vico Magistretti Foundation where personalities from the world of design and architecture – such as Patricia Urquiola and Stefano Boeri – talk about Vico Magistretti on the centenary of his birth.

Fuorisalone Meets

Fuorisalone Meets will be the platform where webinars and online presentations will be held.

Fuorisalone China is a new platform (on Wechat and Weibo) designed to dialogue with Asia: “The percentage of Chinese visitors to the Fuorisalone is constantly growing and so is the furniture sector in China; the potential for developing Italian design in China are evidently very high. The partnership with Fuorisalone.it allows us to make Italian design and creativity better known and communicated to Chinese customers. To do this we have chosen the Wechat and Weibo channel: Wechat, with its 1.1 billion of active users per month, it is the most used social channel in China. Weibo, with its approximately 500 million monthly active users, is a social media focused on microblogging, short videos and livestreaming, useful for communicating with photos and short video the various events of Fuorisalone.” Giuliana Zagarella, Digital to Asia founder

Do you know how to write Milan Design Week in Chinese? 米兰设计周 (here for the pronunciation)

Isola Goes Digital

The Isola Design District will present Isola Goes Digital and offers four new sections of the website: Isola Design Community, Isola Design Magazine, Isola Digital District, Isola Virtual Locations. A true digital version of the Isola district with content, virtual reality exhibitions, live streaming events, and webinars.

I am very curious to discover the Isola Virtual Exhibition, a collective exhibition curated by Isola Design District set in an imaginary abandoned factory.
I believe digital exhibitions will enter more and more in the near future in our daily lives. A new way to enjoy and participate in events. Today this reacts to a physical impossibility, but tomorrow it could be an important addition to traditional exhibitions. Viewers and augmented reality will play a fundamental role in offering an immersive experience.


Photo cover Balik, Studio Biskt/Belgium is Design