I have been attending the Salone del Mobile furniture fair off and on for just over fifteen years and have always enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on what is happening in the design community – both from the large manufacturers and the large stands that they create, to the smaller booths showcasing emerging talents and what they are exploring.
The fair has always attracted a mix of people from all walks of life; designers, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, buyers, artists, and even some that are just curious about design and global trends.The city always seems to transform for the week of the Salone; shops that I never notice during most times of the year are alive and showing new products, exhibits are refreshed and topical, pop-up displays are sprinkled along thoroughfares, and multiple social events are being held across the city.
This year was no exception and in some ways even felt more vibrant than I have remembered. But this year is the first year that I have actually been a part of creating one of the displays and then staffing the stand to talk about how our products connect to our insights, and about the changing nature of work – globally.
Coalesse, for a second year in a row, created a display to showcase the latest products developed to support ‘The New Work Day’, the intersection of life and work crossing over and how we can bring more life back to the workplace and make it the best place to work.
Featured this year were a variety of recent introductions that speak to the alternative work setting, the spaces adjacent to the primary work spaces, and the more social/casual spaces.
For me the show was a great experience, an opportunity to hear directly back from our global customers on the issues they see in the work place – the products that they are currently using to solve their needs – and how our products help them to create spaces that support work in new or alternative ways.
But more importantly, the show was also a huge success for the business; we had visitors from all parts of the world, we had incredible feedback and interest in our stories and the solutions we showed, and we made connections with a broader audience that didn't know about Coalesse before this fair.
We had excitement about our newest product, the carbon fiber chair, and how it allows the user greater control of where to meet and how to quickly reconfigure. The carbon fiber chair is stackable and customizable, the weight is surprising and delightful, and the expression is elegant and timeless – a true break through in this type of product.
We also had excitement about the products we recently started shipping and the variety of settings that can be created with them. We had great interest in our partnerships and how they make us stronger globally, and we had curiosity about our research and how it is helping us to create products that are differentiated in a very competitive market.
Salone del Mobile 2014 will be something that I will always remember fondly as a first for me on many levels; as a moment when we added greater clarity to the Coalesse mission and global leadership through our knowledge of live/work trends.