L'Arca International N° 118

May 2014

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At the 2014 furniture show


Obviously when you begin any process of design you need to sense or anticipate a sequence of operations that will eventually have to be implemented and, consequently, be able to envisage and explain all the various directions in which this process will eventually lead.


It should also be taken into account that there always needs to be a very definite desire to alter or influence the future underpinning this kind of intellectual and professional enterprise. Most significantly, both designers and companies need to adopt an extremely positive attitude towards the future when creating objects and systems for industrial/craft production designed for furnishing houses, commonly and, at times, inappropriately referred to as design products.


Having said that, when visiting the latest Milan Furniture Show I got the impression that the Italian projects, all carefully aimed at exalting their own indisputable structural-material qualities, have completely abandoned any attempt to be innovative or keep one step ahead, something that has always been a distinctive feature of Italian design right across the world, accounting for the great success Italian products have enjoyed.


Ever since the 1960s Italian companies and designers have been unique worldwide for the way they have successfully managed to combine innovation, the future and technology with quality of life, beauty, efficiency, form and memory. But, ever since last year, it would seem that the issue of remembering and recollecting the past seems to be prevailing. Almost everybody, if not everybody, at the Furniture Show presented their same old collections with very few innovations and absolutely no experimentation capable of counteracting that familiar old formula of form/function.


There is no longer any sign of that boldness to experiment with new formulas for living in synch with modern-day life and society at a time when technology and our current levels of knowledge and communication blend smoothly together with notions of beauty. I hope that both companies on one hand and designers on the other will soon find the courage and desire to fully revive all those values, which, in the past, helped make Italian design such a worldwide success.


Cesare Maria Casati

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