Salone del Mobile to Spotlight Sustainable Design

Milan is getting serious about global warming. The 60th edition of Salone del Mobile, the world’s largest furniture fair, which this year runs from June 7 to 12, has taken on climate change, placing a strong focus on sustainability. The show’s major statement on the topic will be design with nature, a 15,000-square-foot exhibition, created by architect Mario Cucinella, that deals with such weighty topics as the future of home and the urgent need for ecological transition, promoting concepts that support the circular economy and reuse. Staying true to its theme, after the fair closes the display will be dismantled, reused, and recycled into a school library, laboratory tables, chairs, and classrooms throughout the city.  

The organizers, led by Salone’s new president Maria Porro, are trying to go further. They created a series of guidelines for all exhibitors asking that they follow the principles of adaptability and reuse to build and dismantle their booths.  Upcycled or reusable materials with low environmental impact that are FSC or PEFC certified in their constructions are suggested.  According to Porro, these guidelines are currently suggestions, but in the future they will be mandatory.

Salone Satellite also will deal with environmental concerns with its theme designing for our future selves: Sustainability. “No one can be uninvolved,” says Marva Grifffin, Satellite’s founder and director. This year 600 young exhibitors will be housed at the front of the fairgrounds in buildings one and three and, for the first-time, admittance to Satellite will be free.

During the press preview for the fair, many exhibitors were anxious to show off their green credentials, with lengthy presentations and charts that displayed their commitments to the environment.  Fantoni stressed its strong allegiance to the circular economy: it turns 420,000 boxes of wood waste into furniture every year. Monica Pedrali, ceo of her family business has adopted the slogan “Remade in Italy,” stressing that the company has used 100% recycled plastics since 2010.

Here’s a sneak peek at some innovative products that will be on display.

Omnichef by SMEG

The Omnichef oven by SMEG in a sunlit modern kitchen.
Part of SMEG’s new Galileo range of ovens, the company claims that the Omnichef will be the first ever to combine steam, microwave and traditional cooking in one unit. Cooks will be able to roast an entire chicken in 30 minutes and then brown its surface. The company doesn’t expect to make the product available in the United States until next year. Photography courtesy of SMEG.

OASI by Aran Cucine

The OASI kitchen island by Aran Cucine includes a live lemon tree at its center.
This freestanding unit continues architect Stefano Boeri’s commitment to all things arboreal (he created the vertical forest residences in Milan), planting a live lemon tree at Oasi’s center. The design offers storage cupboards made from reclaimed wood and includes a cooktop, oven, sink, Corian countertops, a dishwasher and an extendable dining table. It also provides a place for composting and an integrated irrigation system to nourish the tree. Photography courtesy of Aran Cucine.

AMAI by Extremis

AMAI by Extremis is a versatile table that works indoors or out.
The latest product from this Belgian company, designed by its founder Dirk Wynants, is a versatile table that works indoors or out. The surface, supported between two powder coated steel and aluminum frames can be adjusted to two different heights. Options include integrated LED lighting, power outlets and sunshades. Modular in concept, it can be infinitely extended by adding extra A-frames. Photography courtesy of Extremis.

Biomorphic by De Castelli

The Twist and Shell lamps created by the team of Zanellato/Bortotto and the scene-stealing Ambrosia desk designed by Roberto Nicoletti.
For its 2022 collections, De Castelli is celebrating organic forms making use of the company’s skill in beating, embossing and hammering techniques in metal. According to Albino Celato, the company’s CEO, De Castelli always re-uses its waste materials. “There is no scrap; we pay attention to sustainability,” he promises. The line includes the Efesto stool conceived by Martinelli Venezia; the Twist and Shell lamps created by the team of Zanellato/Bortotto; and the scene-stealing Ambrosia desk, designed by Roberto Nicoletti. Photography courtesy of De Castelli.

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