Genius. That, small but powerful word, is, according to the president of the Salone del Mobile, the new directive being integrated into their official manifesto for 2019. Calling on the legacy of such geniuses from Leonardo da Vinci to today’s top designers it is about focussing on the ability to create and think in a way that will bring fresh ways of looking at the world and coming up with brilliant and effective solutions to today’s problems and challenges.
Looking for such outstanding original genius at the Salone amongst all the displays and products can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. But as usual, they will be there. Therefore this year we should be looking out not just for the new colours, designs and shapes of furniture – as there will be plenty of that – but to sustainability solutions, the answer of the design world to the burning question of plastics, of intelligent up-cycling, and remaking the way we make things.
The way our lives are changing in terms of the social demographic trends such as higher mobility, flexibility, co-living and smaller homes, means we need new solutions for both the storage and the representation of our belongings and interiors in our homes. Not only are “homes for things” (self storage units) a growing phenomena worldwide, but also the concept of what I call “Tidyism”. This goes beyond the so-called Marie Kondo effect of only keeping what sparks joy, and deep into the realm of design psychology, mindful living and neuro-architecture (see home report page 86). The REAL smart home of the future will be about how to better celebrate, show off and store our personal belongings in and out of our homes be they temporary or permanent. And in an increasingly digitalised world where we can have multiple virtual identities, it is the choice of the authentic, the tactile and the analogue in our living spaces where we can reveal and express our true off-line identity.