English designer Benjamin Hubert, who heads design agency Layer in East London, said Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile is becoming less about the products and more about the experience.
Hubert told designMENA that the world’s biggest design event that takes place in Milan each year, with the Salone del Mobile furniture at the heart of its event calendar, “has changed”.
“It’s still extremely relevant but it’s really less about products and more about experience,” Hubert said. “That’s why brand’s like Nike and Google choose to come here [Milan] because for them it’s about celebrating a feeling and celebrating a brand”.
He added that the challenge comes when so many brands try to celebrate a product, they begin to get lost: “there are so many products you can’t even see them. So the only you really take from Milan is the really cool installations, the great parties, the amazing building it was in- that’s all experience-based right?”
Hubert explained that the rising importance of experience in the design world plays a big role in the idea of “design celebrities.”
“Your experiences are less about the product and more about the people you meet. So hence why designers are elevated to a point where they are as important as the brand or even more important because that experience element isn’t here unless the people deliver it.
“You can go to some of the booths here [at Salone del Mobile] and they are more experiential and that’s their effort in trying to make it more memorable,” he added.
Hubert has created a a modular furniture family, called Tape, that uses polyurethane tape to bond the smaller pieces of the textile together. Inspired by the concept of athleisure, the collection was designed for Italian brand Moroso and launched at this year’s Salone del Mobile.