The SuperStudio show has grown to be a staple of Milan’s Fuorisalone since its first showing back in 2000. It was in Via Tortona 27 where they first opened to architects, designers, and furniture companies during the Salone del Mobile, and this year is no different.
Although, things have changed over the years, with the Tortona district going from the principal neighborhood of the Fuorisalone, to this year's more fragmented presence. It might be for this very reason that things in the area seem to be more focused on individual events rather than the idea of a “district”.
One of these individual events is the Superdesign Show 2018, presenting itself as a standalone space with a program under the theme of Only the Best, by Gisella Borioli, SuperStudio’s CEO.
“I think what counts in Milan are good projects, wherever they are, and not for the Design District they’re a part of. Although SuperStudio once started the idea of zones for the Fuorisalone, we’ve decided to present our upcoming show as a standalone project (which it really has been all along). We hope that for visitors, the red thread of Milan, Capital of Design, is the quality, the innovation, or the ability of designers and not the districts,” she explains.
SuperStudio has thus become a “zone within a zone” with the likes of Nendo, the project from Kengo Kuma for Dassault Systèmes, the Smart City exhibit (visitable from mid-May at SuperStudio Più) and the Superloft, the home we all dream of, by Giulio Cappellini. Inaugurating the exhibition space back in 2000, the latter brought a selection of young architects and designers that have since gone on to become stars in their own right.
This year’s Superloft is a home that’s both imaginative and real, where Cappellini mixes and matches iconic contemporary design objects for a space all his own. From the day area to the space dedicated to wellness, through the kitchen and bedroom on to the bathrooms.
An environment created for “a cosmopolitan individual who loves design, art, technology, and craftsmanship, with the merging of other cultures to personalize their own home” says Cappellini.
Superloft aims to be an international home, one that “could be in Paris, just as it could in New York, Berlin, or Shanghai”. How much of Italy is present in this form of internationality?
Italy is present within the quality of the products, both industrial and artisan, that fully reflect the continuous studies of new textures, color palettes, and traditional finishes made here in Italy. Quality and studies that give us the edge on international competition.
Is there a specific way the Italian home differs from others?
The Italian home is differentiated by a curation of details, from the furnishings to the accessories. It’s a warm and welcoming space, often with contrasts of the past and present, that reflects the culture of who lives there.
What is home for you, today?
A place of refuge, to live in an intimate environment with my family or to welcome guests in an informal way. The home is the element that best represents us and I tried to share that with Superloft, between identity and contradictions.
Design, today, should give concrete answers to user’s real needs, creating functional and beautiful objects. These objects should do more than just perform a task, they should become a fundamental element to our way of living. Today, design should be conscious and not just a hedonistic act on part of the designer.
One of your big contributions to the world of design has been that of the talent scout - would you tell us some names to look out for this year at the Salone del Mobile?
There’s a new generation of young designers, both Italian and international. Some have already come into their fame, like Formafantasma or Lanzavecchia + Wai, and others have yet to be discovered, like Alberto Brogliato and Federico Traverso (founders of studio BrogliatoTraverso). Young minds designing with a free spirit and great professionalism.
And the Fuorisalone events you’ve already marked in your calendar?
Fuorisalone is certainly the most interesting observatory in the world to uncover new trends. This year I’ve dedicated a lot of energy to SuperStudio where we’ll see transversal interpretations of design. Obviously, between countless commitments and events, I’ll try not to miss those with the most innovation behind them.
How many times have you been in the Salone del Mobile?
My first Salone del Mobile was in 1978… so this year, I’ll be celebrating my 40th year at this incredible event that really captures the whole city. What’s stayed with me over all these years is the desire to confront myself with new challenges and try to do better. Let’s just say it’s always a test to pass…
What can a young designer do to prepare for a visit the Salone (and how)?
A young designer visiting the Design Week should try to understand what’s behind a nice presentation or product. There are often months, or years, of experimentation and making prototypes behind the show. It takes a great deal of energy from the designers and businesses, not improvisation. A strong sense of protection over quality. Tens of thousands of individuals have work thanks to the success of the products showcased. The Milan Design Week is truly a motor of industry and craftsmanship.