Furnishing and lighting, China’s road is growing exports

The opening of the third edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai , with the Exhibiton Center transformed until November 24 in a “bomboniere” of Italian elegance and style from the 123 brands of furniture and lighting, confirms with their presence record , as this unique model is able to push our manufacturing export and the values ​​that it is able to express also focusing […]

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What we saw at Dubai Design Week

Before tackling any talk on the Dubai Design Week , staged from 12 to 17 November 2018, you should take a walk through the streets of the Madinat Jumeirah area , the district that runs along the Creek. Razed to the ground in the 60s to make room for the skyscrapers, it was rebuilt with the idea of ​​showing the Dubai of the past. The result is a residential and commercial complex dotted with restaurants, hotels and luxury shops. A purely tourist district, but above all a symbol of the deep identity crisis of the city. We start from here, therefore, to understand Dubai Design Week. In the context of a city that has dismantled its traditions to project itself confusedly into the future,design and contemporary art become the tools for sculpting one’s own identity .

The protagonists of the fourth edition of the Dubai Design Week are therefore the designers of the United Arab Emirates and more generally of the countries of the Gulf and the Middle East, with a large participation of creatives coming from Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. The heart of the event is the d3, the design district that stands out on the dust plain that surrounds the city, with the Downtown Design fair, main event with 175 exhibitors from all over the world, and with about 230 events including talks, exhibitions and meetings.

Among the most incisive exhibition projects, Abwab , in Arabic “porte”, an exhibition divided into five pavilions dedicated to emerging designers coming from Amman, Kuwait City, Beirut, Dubai and the Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia. Designed by the Architecture + Other Things studio , the structures were covered with palm leaves and covered with desert land, in homage to the natural landscape of the region. Inside, installations that evoke the history of pearl fishing, videos that plunge through the chaotic streets of Amman, wrought iron chairs that resume ancient methods of manufacture. It tells stories and traditions, translating them into objects with contemporary aesthetics.Rawan Kashkoush, creative director of Abwab, tells what is happening in the design. «Dubai Design Week was born as a platform to give visibility to the local creative scene. The goal was immediately clear: to promote a new sense of identity through art and design. Here come players from all over the world, interested in discovering the voice of Middle Eastern design. This is why Dubai is considered the capital ». On what exactly are the characteristics of local design, Rawan says: “There are two elements that characterize our design. One is related to the functionality of objects, which must respond to specific needs. A concrete example? The silent servant. In the West it is short, but here traditional clothes are long. The second element is that of materials: here wood is very rare, so we use different raw materials . There is a need to look at our old traditions, our culture and our specificities “. A design that absorbs the desire to rediscover its roots, returning it through objects with a strong identity: “I noticed that people start to see each other in the products they have in front of them, feeling a whole new attachment to design. As marvelous as it is, it is difficult for Italian or foreign design to succeed in involving us completely. Here, this is happening. “Turning for the Dowtown Design fair, and in particular in the Downtown Editions section dedicated to the capsule collection of emerging local designers, there are many objects that reflect Rawan’s speech. There are the jars of Kutleh , a Jordanian brand that uses the surplus materials used in construction, or there is the designer Aljoud Lootah, which makes jewelry boxes with camel leather and seats made of cushions inspired by those he found in his grandmother’s house. Although they draw from the past, the objects on show are anything but nostalgic: the impression is that of being in front of the design of the future, deeply animated by the dialogue between East and West, technological as well as artisan. It is no coincidence that the Global Grad Show was held at the Dubai Design Week, an exhibition that brings together 150 projects linked to the interactions between design and technology from the best universities in the world.

To believe that Dubai is a kind of design laboratory of the future is Khalid Shafar , one of the most influential designers of the Emirate, as well as curator of “UAE Design Stories: The Next Generation from The Emirates”, a traveling exhibition that tells the work of some local designers. “The design of the UAE reflects the cultural melting pot that is breathed here. People come to Dubai from different backgrounds, helping to fuel the design scene with ideas, projects and innovations. Here you want to experiment more than in other places, simply because it is all new and to be discovered. Local design is very young, only a few years old. The Design Week audience is made up of people who are curious to discover the directions of Middle Eastern design ».

Furnishing and lighting, China’s road is growing exports

The opening of the third edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai , with the Exhibiton Center transformed until November 24 in a “bomboniere” of Italian elegance and style from the 123 brands of furniture and lighting, confirms with their presence record , as this unique model is able to push our manufacturing export and the values ​​that it is able to express also focusing on beauty and innovation, which are found in the journey among the stands in the crowded stands of operatorsChinese: importers, distributors, retailers, buyers, architects, interior designers, contracting entrepreneurs, journalists. All conquered by the made in Italy.

Ribbon cutting and evening preview in an atmosphere – justified – of optimism therefore, present among others the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities Alberto Bonisoli who stressed how design and culture are linked and had meetings with the Chinese authorities related Italian initiatives for the celebrations of Leonardo da Vinci, Raffello and Dante in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Bonisoli, also competing with the top management of FederlegnoArredo, explained: “I am in Shanghai because the government is pursuing a strategy aimed at promoting growth and exports: China will be the main market for medium and high level goods in the next ten years, a segment where our country can offer a lot, starting from furniture and design, and the fact that Italy is able to play an important role and to be appreciated is an important factor for the growth of our economy “.

“The Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai confirms itself as a strategic international appointment, growing exponentially thanks to the quality of the exhibition proposal and the interest shown by a public that is increasingly attentive and sensitive to the values ​​of design – explains Claudio Luti , chairman of the Salone del Mobile -. We are back in the economic capital of China with great enthusiasm, convinced that we can further improve the commercial and cultural dialogue between the two countries and meet the needs of a rapidly changing market.which has great expectations for us because it has a manufacturing history behind it, reminiscent of the Italian one for the continuous search for beauty, originality and elegance “. Expectations that had already proved to be high since the first edition, when the entrances of the SEC had been closed due to the large influx of visitors so much that since last year the pre-registration has been made mandatory in order to access the Sec.

“The bilateral ties between Italy and China are experiencing a new moment of growth. Our two nations already cooperate in many sectors and we firmly believe that Italian companies can be the ideal partner for the Chinese, especially if we consider the enormous changes that the market is facing – adds Ettore Sequi , Ambassador of Italy in the People’s Republic of China – .

“China is one of the countries with the highest development potential for the wood-furniture sector, but also one of the most difficult markets to conquer – confirms Emanuele Orsini , president of Federlegno Arredo -. Federlegno Arredo Eventi has decided to adopt a long-term strategy to make it accessible to Italian companies by choosing to make a systemto fill the dimensional gap that separates the Italian SMEs from the great Chinese giants: a unique team in which institutions and companies dialogue at various levels with Chinese partners. The 2018 edition of the Salone del Mobile.Milano Shanghai goes in this direction thanks to the ability to express the best of Made in Italy design in a country with enormous potential and to make an essential contribution to the growth of Italian companies in China, as confirmed by the ncremento 6% of our exports in the first six months of 2018. Without forgetting the valuable contribution of ICE Italian Trade Agency, the ambassador of Italy and the main Italian institutions in China, which guaranteed fundamental support ” .

Potential confirmed by the data. The ‘ export of furniture (furniture macro-system – lighting) grew by 494% from 2009 to 2017. Compared to its competitor Italy is the country that has sold more in China in 2017, remaining the first provider of mobile (22 % of total imports), followed by Germany with 15%. The driving sectors are semi-finished furniture (72.8%), bedrooms (71.9%), office (70%), chairs (68.6%), kitchens (52.4%) ), the upholstered furniture (51.2%), the living area (39.5%), the furnishing accessories (36.5%), lighting (36.2%). (Source: elaborations of the Centro Studi Federlegno Arredo Eventi on Istat data ).
Challenge is not easy because it requires a great ability to understand the dynamic needs of the Chinese market linked to the development of urbanization and therefore of residential construction, with the purchasing power of the rising middle class and consumption for the house doubled in the last decade and constantly growing.