What is the future of Milan Design Week?

No, we had not forgotten about Milano Design Week 2021. After all, for lovers and professionals of the sector, what took place from September 4 to 10 is an unavoidable event of global importance. Therefore, a few weeks after its conclusion, it is time to take stock.


In fact, it was the first edition since the covid emergency and the effects, in terms of visits, were obviously felt. The Supersalone, a special event of the Salone del Mobile that occupied four pavilions of the Rho-Fieramilano structure, with 425 exhibitors and only 16% of operators from abroad, welcomed 60 thousand visitors. A result of which architect Stefano Boeri, curator of this edition, said he was proud.

Regarding the Fuorisalone events, a host of initiatives that cross the city during the Salone del Mobile, the average number of visitors was 30 thousand per event, with a peak of more than 50 thousand visitors to the Triennale, which this year hosted an exhibition dedicated to the history of the Milanese “design week”. Thirty thousand also in “Superstudio Più” and in Zona Tortona, birthplace of “Fuorisalone”.

Respectable figures, although the attendance records recorded in the city in recent years, for obvious reasons, have not been repeated. Covid-linked restrictions, particularly harsh in Italy, have certainly blocked growth in recent years and left something to think about.


In technical terms, the attendance recorded by the virtual events organized by Fuorisalone (400 thousand unique users and 2 million page views) show a future in which physical presence may be dispensed with, however, without particular repercussions on the sector. After all, Milano Design Week had become above all an event and celebration of the city: it was a kind of collective ritual in which everyone immersed themselves for a week, despite being part of the world of interior design or No. Exhibitions, installations, events, parties: for better or worse, Fuorisalone had managed to make Milan the city of design, literally invading the city, redeveloping spaces, making news, bringing people to the city.

Now this may never be the same again. Companies have begun to reorganize according to the “new normal”, a virtuous circle has been broken and it is not certain that it can be reproduced. Maybe it won’t lose interior design, but it will probably lose Milan. We will probably see it in 2022, with the sixtieth edition of the Salone del Mobile, which will be held from April 5 to 10, again in spring. And what a spring it is.

Emmanuel Raffaele Maraziti

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