'As was the case in 2011, there was nothing major to report despite the usual hype that preceded and accompanied the event; all the major design houses presented largely the same look as in recent years. The affluent sector was catered for with very high-end products, but the comments I could glean from various showrooms – i.e. buyers – were rather negative: lots of smoke but little roast.
‘Besides a very few manufacturers, such as Marioni and Donghia, most seemed to be extolling an ongoing unimaginative signature: ‘modern without innovation’ i.e. looking quite déjà vu. Certain of the more classical styles followed the vulgar Russian market; virtually affixing diamonds to toilet paper.
‘There was a small sprinkle of new designers presenting some concepts that I could best define as ‘burlesque’. Sorry if this sounds rather corrosive but this is what I honestly feel about the lack of imaginitive product scene during the past decade. The only innovation I could discover was in hi-tech electronic presentation techniques, which offer the designer the possibility of illustrating a project in 3D; including furniture for a client floor-plan – and literally in minutes. This, if the designer is technologically inclined.
‘Obviously, the current global depression has swept away a few very good smaller exhibitions such as Abitare il Tempo in Verona and Gift in Florence. Here, in a more condensed context one could see a presentation of the best on the market while skipping all the junk. Today, even in the accessory sector, the trend is to go along with the masses and disregard quality.’
Editors note: The illustrations shown are not a reflection of comments from the writer.