In less than a month, the Salone del Mobile, the world’s most powerful design fair will open its 54th anniversary. Founded in 1961 in Milane, the Salone attracted 12,000 visitors in its first year, and paved the way to MoMA’s seminal show ‘Italy: The New Domestic Landscape’, curated by the architect Emilio Ambasz, which put Italian modern design on the international map. Perhaps the most memorable fair was the Salone of 1981 where Gallery Arc’74 unveiled Memphis, the Milanese design collective, founded by Etorre Sottsass. The portrait of the team lounging in a “Conversation Pit,” designed by Japanese architect Masanori Umeda to look like a boxing ring has since become a symbol of Italian Postmodernism and the Anti-Design, or Radical Design Movement. Another groundbreaking year in the history of the Salone was 1993, when the work of Droog, the Dutch design group was unveiled, making a new and influential approach to design with the presentation of the work of its founding members Jurgen Bey and Hella Jongerius.
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