Cars and the City: a study of the Salone

Mini Kapoow

With countless international designers and exhibits, the automotive world has long felt the attraction of Milan’s design festival Salone del Mobile. Interior Motives examines the origins of the relationship and why it continues to grow  

The very first Milan Furniture Fair, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, was held in 1961 to aggregate the wares of the region’s many furniture manufacturers. Milan had been home to industrial exhibitions since the 1920s, and the first Salone followed on from these Fiera Campionaria, themselves evolved from Milan’s Great Expositions of 1881 and 1906. By the 1920s, the country was a globally recognised nexus of industrial production and contemporary design. 

The new Salone del Mobile capitalised on this image and over the decades became the primary outlet for the latest innovation in contemporary design. As it grew, the show embraced more and more international companies, as well as sectors like interior design, lighting, home automation, textiles, material technologies and many more. For the creative industries, it became the ultimate annual one-stop-shop of inspiration and innovation, a place to gauge the temperature of global taste and incoming trends. Since 2005, Salone has been held at the new Fiera Milano site, designed by Studio Fuksas, and featuring nearly 400,000 square metres of exhibition space…

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