A conversation with Caterina Mosca Valerio Castelli
What do you expect from this digital version of the Fuorisalone?
That it still manages to create interest in Milan Design Week, stimulating cultural debate that involves a wider international audience.
Do you think the digital edition will change the way we experience the physical event?
We all agree that the digital version will never take the place of the physical event, but the digital edition does present an opportunity for more interaction with the public, to communicate before, during and after the event, it gives us the chance to be more interactive, more inclusive.
You undertake curatorial projects. How do you think the future will effect your activities, with the hybrid mix between the physical and digital worlds?
Curating is first and foremost about thinking, so the digital world along side the real world is actually an added bonus. It enables us to share extra content and insights and, above all, it allows us to interact more with the public. It is all extremely interesting and stimulating but it also means extra work and skills which in turn means extra investment.
How does the great success that the Fuorisalone has achieved over the years influence the work of people like yourselves who strive to present quality content as well as promoting young designers and design schools?
We are proud of the success but it needs to be managed well and protected from speculation.
The quality of the content presented is actually the hottest topic because it is what the success of the Fuorisalone depends on.
Quality means selecting, which does not automatically reflect a brand’s value on the market. We must not only be able to identify and choose emerging talents and start-ups with innovative projects, we must also be able to give them the chance to exhibit and present their work in the right way and in spaces that are financially accessible.
The ever-rising location costs and the whole hospitality sector of the city certainly doesn't favour those with limited economic resources and makes our job increasingly difficult. Every year we have to compete with international luxury brands who book the most prestigious locations for uninteresting marketing operations with no care for the expense involved.
The owners of the locations see the Fuorisalone as a golden opportunity to make cash and are generally not very interested in promoting the culture of design and innovation.
It is down to the institutions and Public Administration to protect the Fuorisalone from this danger and speculation.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you during the Fuorisalone?
Actually there are two things.
The first is that fact that we first met during the Fuorisalone in the early 2000s. That was when our partnership and MoscaPartners really started.
The second was definitely when a location we had booked said it was no longer available just 10 days before the opening of Milan Design Week. It happened in 2014 when we had hired a space belonging to the military. As you can imagine we had everything ready to start installing and the communication strategy was already well underway - it was a dramatic situation, to say the least, that could have turned into an economic tragedy - a sort of precursor to COVID-19. Luckily, as is often the case, the tragedy became an opportunity.
In just two days we found an alternative location – we managed to convince the Ministry of Culture to let us use Palazzo Litta for the first time and to open it to the public of Design Week. All the projects were adapted to the new spaces in record time and it became the success that you know so well.
What is the most important thing that you have discovered or learned during the Fuorisalone?
Overall Milan Design Week (including both the Fuorisalone and the Salone) is an extraordinary event – the only of its kind in the whole world. It is inclusive and extremely democratic, a place to meet and exchange views with people from all over the globe, it is stimulating and enriching at the same time. It’s like the whole world moves and meets up in one place in the space of just a few days, creating fertile ground to feed creativity. It is the open and unhindered exchange of views that sparks new ideas.
© Fuorisalone.it — All rights reserved. — Published on 10 June 2020