Explosive energy, a skillful use of creativity and the Italian character help define Milan, the undisputed creative capital of Italy, according to design local Francesco Binfaré probably best know for his Flap sofa for Edra. This year he launched the much talked about Standard sofa, also for Edra. What do you think are the ingredients that have shaped and continue to define the city as a vibrant design destination?
The “Fuori Salone” in Milan started in 1973 when I was the art director of design and communication Cassina. Because of the division of C&B and B&B, Cassina had the necessity to assail the market in an exceptional way and the space at the Salone del Mobile was too small, so it needed to create the Salone del Mobile in the Milanese showroom in the city centre, where Cassina had a big space. It gave life to a Salone with a big party and a special organisation with a shuttle which took people to the city centre, and with the use of the the first videotapes showing the magnificence of the events that were taking place in the showroom.
Everything was very successful so, year after year, the number of the firms increased until it gave rise to this Salone del Mobile festival that captivates the city like the celebration of a medieval Saint, and that is perfectly managed by many refined organisations. This true miracle happens because of the creation of a kind of rivalry that you can’t shrink from. Then you have the Italian character that creates this competition, and that gives the pleasure of being creatives.
How would you summarise the spirit of this year's fair, and some of its highlights?
I think that the summary of the Salone del Mobile 2013 shows an explosive energy and a skillful use of creativity. This is especially the case of Edra, it’s a creativity oriented to a sparkling and enchanting product, for example the Standard sofa I released this year. That is true for some peaks, otherwise this fair was characterised by a strong energy, a deep sense of caution together with a great desire to do something. The Salone of this year was really attractive.