Fuorisalone, it's time to mark our point

16 March 2020 becomes the voice of the Milan design community by collecting the requests to express and opinion on Dezeen’s Virtual Milan, hastily renamed Virtual Design Festival after criticisms.

Our thinking is born from exchanges of ideas amongst many people and players and analysis of the comments published on social media and follows Laura Traldi's article on Designatlarge. It wishes to voice the opinion of those who are working, day after day, for a common objective – the Milan Design Week – which in this historical moment requires all support it can get.

At the dawn of the COVID-19 emergency we  posted #Fuorisalonenonsiferma, an invite to be strong and work together to find opportunities in a difficult moment. And this is exactly what we have been doing since, by working quietly yet hard. Our silence has been a sign of respect, for our partners and clients, in a moment in which people have a lot in their minds: health, relationships, work, emotions.

Yet in the show society we live in, silence is sometimes interpreted as a lack of action. Hence a mere announcement – such as the one made by Dezeen on Virtual Milan - is enough to divide the design crowd in those who are angry about it and those who actually admire the move. It is easy indeed, during a quarantene, to be fascinated by different scenarios (be they actual or fictive) or to think that all those who work on the Fuorisalone are doing nothing. And it is maybe difficult to verify what those who work in the “backoffice” of the Design Week are actually doing.
All this shows that the design world is populated by exactly the same people as any other: some of which think individualistically, and some of which think as part of a system.

We wonder: why did Dezeen, that has a clear role within this design system, decide to ignore it?  No call was ever made to any of the Milan organizers of districts or large events. No effort was made to conceive synergies, share opinions and knowledge, consider the creation of a new innovative, open digital format that could truly represent the Milan Design Week. Which is why launch of Virtual Milan has thus been another lost opportunity.

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