Salone del Mobile, the design fair that convenes once a year in Milan, Italy, is the largest event of its kind. With 300,000 international visitors exploring more than 1300 exhibitions, the Salone can be as overwhelming as it is enlightening. So at this year’s event, which takes place from April 14 – 19, Airbnb is joining forces with 19 students from the design think-tank Fabrica to inspire a sense of belonging during the festival with Housewarming, an experiential installation at Palazzo Crespi.
Fabrica specializes in finding creative ways to communicate, so there was no better partner to help us in this mission to connect with the fair’s attendees. The Fabrica team members will use spaces within the palazzo to create interactive installations that speak to their own personal interpretations of the theme of belonging and welcome. With each designer bringing his or her own cultural touchpoints to the project, they’ll create a global display of the ways of people connect with each other in their own communities and beyond.
One of Fabrica’s designers, Thomas Fethers, drew inspiration from his Australian family life to create his installation concept, which features a series of jigsaw puzzles that creatively communicate tips and tricks for traveling to his homeland. Thomas will use the puzzles to interact with guests, strike up conversations and share his unique Australian point of view.
Designer Mariana Fernandes plans to create a connection between her home in Lisbon and the fairgrounds in Milan through the tradition of sending postcards. She will source a range of both vintage and contemporary Milanese postcards, which she’ll print with a series of graphics inspired by Lisbon before passing them out to visitors. The final designs will feature facts that link the two cities, through commonalities or juxtapositions.
“Design helps shape our everyday interactions, through products, furniture, objects, or experiences,” says Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia. “Fabrica’s innovative students will showcase Airbnb’s belief that design can create a sense of belonging and facilitate connections between a global community.”
“Working with Airbnb is a true collaboration,” says Sam Baron, Head of Design at Fabrica. “We both envisage our mission as a way to bring to daily life a unique look on the surrounding environment, where attention to detail reveals special attention to the human being. Local habits, cultural references, and personal attitudes are re-taught to produce an experience where creativity becomes the common language to making guests feel at home.”
Ready to explore Milan’s design scene for yourself? Check out these Milanese listings and start planning your trip.