April in design world is usually associated to “Milano Design Week” (once known as “Salone del Mobile”). This event, created in the first 60’s during an “italian design furniture” economic growth and design creativity period, has expanded year by year turning to be the most important design fair in the world.

This development most evident results are: the launch, since early 90’s, of “Fuori Salone”events, spread out all over Milan; the gradual enlargement to professional from foreign countries; the exhibition centre relocation in the new Fuksas design pavilions. From my personal point of view, as visitor of more than 25 “Salone” editions (my first being in 1985), I can confirm that the spreading of the event both in the urban fabric physical space (crowded by a multitude of vernissage, cocktails, inaugurations and therefore by a lot of beholders) that in the different cultural environment involved more conceptual one, has radically changed the event character.

Regarding this year’s edition I would especially highlight two subjects referring to companies whose story and “made in Italy” design culture contribution are deeply linked and go through the timespan represented by Salone del Mobile.

The first one is about Cassina, a company I feel very close both for its product outstanding design and higher quality. This year’s new products were highly awaited due to Patricia Urquiola, considered as the most brilliant character in the current design world, appointment as new art director since last September. I was particularly interested in the relationship that could arise from the designer’s extroverted and “feminine” nature and the company’s production, always synonymous with rigor and iconic.

The Fair Pavillion 20 stand design is inspired to the Rietveld Pavillion, a 1955 temporary building by the dutch architect: this structure has the classic De Stijl architecture plainness and geometry using materials like glass, concrete brick and metal extrusions. This choice, according to Cassina’s story, wants to confirm that the relationship between architecture and interior design has always been a focal point for its projects development from the exclusive production of works by the great modernist architects to the architectural construction of complex design projects.

The via Durini’s showroom setting is meant to compare the designer work to that of an artist: single pieces are exhibited on different colors aluminium platform surrounded by back-lighted panels, turning into art works.

The company celebrations for next year’s 90th anniversary include “MutAzioni “a reflection on the brand’s history and an opportunity to cast a contemporary eye on 9 design icons taken from 90 years of history. The new “Black Red and Blue” chair edition include new colors as white and green; Carlo Scarpa’s “Doge” table consider the possibility of a new marble top and new steel structure colors; “Wink” chaise longue by Toshiyuki Kita has a new fabric range confirming its playful and hedonistic spirit; finally, “Met” sofa considers a new range of elements and finishes.The second subject is about B&B Italia celebrating its 50th anniversary; created in 1966 as C&B by Piero Ambrogio Busnelli and Cesare Cassina partnership it changed into B&B Italia in 1973. This event is highlighted by a new Skira published Stefano Casciani book and by an exhibition at the Triennale the title of which is “B&B Italia/ The perfect density”. The setting identifies the concept of density as the cornerstone to celebrate the first 50 years company history. Density is considered as brand’s identifying feature, from the physical and material nature to the conceptual one. This tale is based on the dialogue between involved people, realized products and adopted methods and it describes a company that for 50 years has been capable of producing icons of Italian design such as: Up (design Gaetano Pesce), Coronado (design Afra e Tobia Scarpa), Lombrico (design Marco Zanuso), Amanta e Le Bambole (design Mario Bellini), Sity, Harry e Charles (design Antonio Citterio), Canasta (design Patricia Urquiola) in addition to being awarded (the 1st company) in 1989 with the “Compasso d’Oro”.