Paolo Casati presents Fuorisalone.it and reveals: "Soon a collaboration with the Salone del mobile"

The Fuorisalone. To tell and communicate the subjects and events is a platform created with the ultimate goal of understanding the shared needs in order to continue to think of Milan as the capital of design. It is about Fuorisalone.ita project that was born on the school desks, as he tells us Paolo Casati, creative director of Studiolabo, Fuorisalone.it and Brera Design District. Born in 1977, he graduated in 2002 from the Milan Polytechnic with a thesis on Fuorisalone and then gave life to Studiolabo: a company that has been involved in communication and concept design since 2003, providing strategic consulting, branding and graphic design services. “The Fuorisalone could not redeem itself to the two-dimensionality of paper guides, there was a need for a hyperspatiality that digital offers”, explains Casati “to best represent the dynamism of design we have designed a guide to have a story of the event in real time which at the beginning was mainly aimed at the public and which then became a compass for companies and exhibitors as well. All this has led us to have several official awards including the Compasso d’Oro in 2007 ».

Discovering Italian artisans

by Francesca Gugliotta



What is your relationship with design?

«I was born in Brianza and raised in the workshop, therefore in the world of craft shops and I attended an art school for furniture architecture in Cantù. After that I studied internal product at the Polytechnic. Everything came naturally, thanks to the commitment and hard work a lot of satisfactions came. Tenacity was fundamental especially in 2020, in the year of Covid, when the conference was skipped and the 200 events already confirmed. So we had to reinvent ourselves. Without presumptions, reinventing oneself without having those tools and skills behind us would not have been possible. Our rule is to better design what we do now ».
All ‘habitus the desire to “make a good impression” belongs to the Italian tradition, how did you choose to make a good impression?
L’habitus, making a good impression makes me think about the value of the house, my parents used to show the house to guests, it was a welcoming place that was told. To date this value has changed, today we show the district that made Milan international. It all started with Studiolabo and then transformed Brera Design District into a real brand. Today, in fact, there is the Brera Design Week, the Brera design days, the Brera design apartment and the presentation in the Brera design location. The target? Shift the focus from one week to the whole year. Now the challenge is to take Brera out of Milan, to export this DNA“.

Brera Design District, historic "motor" of the Fuorisalone (photo Chiara Venegoni)

Brera Design District, the historic “driving force” of the Fuorisalone (photo Chiara Venegoni)

In the midst of the fourth industrial revolution we recognize that Italy should invest in young talents, aimed at territorial productive vocations and consequently at innovation. What is innovative for you?

«For me, innovating means doing things well: planning, therefore, throwing ahead. I bring myself back to the theme of this thirteenth edition of Brera Design Week: “designing the present to choose the future”. To innovate is to respond to a need while respecting the present and consequently the future. To innovate means to apply in unexpected contexts: to innovate is to hybridize, move, connect elements from different fields, creating new forms “.
What do you think of dematerialization: NFT, metaverse?

“We are in a phase of exploration: the same as the web 1. It is a field that we are investigating, in fact the novelty of this year, the Fuori Salone Award, is an NFT which, referring to a physical award, gives life to data relating to design week through artificial intelligence. The Metaverse is the present. If it exists and is a process, it must be analyzed, studied, understood. Both positive and negative aspects must be recognized in order to improve them. It must be said that there is no aesthetics, it is not sustainable in terms of infrastructures but our approach is nevertheless aimed at attention not with speculation but with interest ».
Have you ever thought of a hypothetical collaboration between Fuorisalone and Salone del mobile?

“Yes, he asks me the question at the right time and in the right place. There has always been this antagonistic relationship with the Salone, even the term Fuori – Salone itself. Without being able to reveal anything, in the future there will certainly be a shared project and relationship between the parties. The challenge also launched to the new councilor, who appeals to the Municipality of Milan, will be to create a system of values ​​and quality by defining hierarchies to guide the services of the city to the event that must remain as it originally was ».
Concluding question: how are Paolo Casati on this warm morning that inaugurates the design week?

«I have never been more serene than this year, for me 24 months of work, transformation and goals come to an end. I start the design week serene, happy with the teamwork of the guys in the studio. It seems as if we had forgotten where we were, what we are experiencing now is a great gift, a great opportunity also considering the conflict situation that emerged a few months ago which for us was a great shock, without considering the humanitarian issue “.

In collaboration with Iulm University – degree course in Fashion and Creative Industries

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