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Salone del Mobile dazzled IDC members with a plethora of Italian furnishings

IDC members embark on a trade mission to Milan

In April, Interior Designers of Canada members travelled to Milan, Italy for the 58th edition of Salone del Mobile.

Founded in 1961 to promote Italian furniture and design, Salone del Mobile has since become the world’s largest trade show of its kind and a must-visit for international designers. This year’s festival boasted 380,000 attendees from 181 different countries, and more than 2,400 exhibitors were split between the International Furnishings Accessories Exhibition, Workplace3.0, the biannual lighting exhibition Euroluce and S.Project, a new multi-sector space devoted to innovative products and interior design solutions.

The Italian Trade Agency sponsored two IDC members, Stanley Sun of the Toronto firm Mason Studio and Helen Besharat of Vancouver-based studio Besharat Friars Architects, to attend the six-day show.

(Photos courtesy of Salone del Mobile.Milano)

“The vast selection of events, launches and festivals was beyond anything I have attended before internationally,” says Sun. “Seeing product in person cannot compare to seeing it online and in catalogues.”

At Salone del Mobile, Sun and Besharat discovered new local Italian and global manufacturers, as well as met with other IDC members and international delegates. They also visited a millwork factory in a trip organized by the Italian Trade Agency, where they could get a behind-the-scenes look at the precision and artistry Italian designers are known for. “The craftsmanship and the love for design in Italy is so fantastic,” says Besharat. “Touring the millwork manufacturer was a highlight because we could see all their machines and [production] process.”

Another highlight for Besharat was SaloneSatellite, an exhibition featuring the work of 550 designers under 35. “It was refreshing to see all that talent and great design being nourished,” says Besharat.

In addition to Salone del Mobile, both Besharat and Sun had the opportunity to explore a plethora of offsite events, where they could see how the city completely transforms every year during Milan Design Week.

“There’s an overall public appreciation and participation in design events in Milan. Seeing that level of engagement during Milan Design Week and Salone del Mobile provides us with a model to create [similar] public support for Canadian design,” says Sun. “It’s something we should all strive for.”

To read about other upcoming IDC trade missions and to submit your application, click here.

For more information, contact

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