The Five Trends in Design We Must Get Ready For Now

What the Art World can pick up from the Design World

Exhibition designers tend to look at other art venues for inspiration. But what can we learn from the biggest annual international design fair? I visited the Salone del Mobile 2023 in Milan, Italy and created this list for you, with the 5 hottest trends of this moment.

The crème de la crème of the design world comes together once a year to show the newest design innovations to the world. Don’t despair if you don’t have a huge budget to create similar exhibitions. In a few years’ time, the innovations of today will be available for far less. No time to wait? Create your own budget version with these 5 top tips.  

  1. More is more

Our lives might have become sober and quiet during the pandemic, but that is clearly a thing of the past. The trend of the Salone del Mobile 2023 is MORE. Opulent decorations, rich fabrics and a dazzling amount of color: I can’t get enough of it! Goodbye to minimalist esthetics, hello to Italian baroque explosions. How to apply this to your next art show? Think color, texture and a hint of glitter. Don’t overdo it though, you might risk your visitors overlook the art in the room.

Opulence is everywhere in 2023

2. Light is key

We all know a great light plan is key to make art pop. But are you aware of all the technical possibilities available? Designers are. At the Salone del Mobile I have witnessed so many different options we art curators can only dream about. You can really set the tone with the right amount of light, the right warmth and the angle you choose. Don’t have the budget to buy a whole new set of lights? No problem. Adjusting the light tone and the angle can already make a great difference.

3. Texture

I have already mentioned it: texture is an important part of the opulent design esthetic we see at the Salone this year. Forget about the white cube art space: we want to touch, embrace and feel. Don’t worry, I don’t imply you should encourage your visitors to touch the art works. But why not mix things up a bit and use carpets, velvety wall paper or 3d printed wall texts? It will help with that nasty acoustic problem we encounter in a lot of art spaces as well. Your tour guides and education staff will be thanking you!

SITAP carpet couture Italia shows what texture can do for an exhibition place

4. Be exclusive 

This might not work for everybody, but it’s worth a try. To get more attention for your art gallery or art space, try to be more exclusive for a change. About 25% of the stands at the Salone were only accessible after registration. You couldn’t see much from the outside, but just enough to make you curious. Curious enough to leave your personal data and email adres to random strangers just to get a sneak peek inside! Imagine, you would do this at your venue. It might be a hit. And, as an added bonus, you will have a few new names and e-mail addresses on your direct marketing mailing list. Not bad!

You can look in from the outside, but to enter this stand, you will have to register

5. Dare to be different

Do you have a lot of competition in your city from other, popular art venues? Find your own unique voice and go for it. Try not to be like that other place, but try to be all that the other place is not instead. We all know that the way to stand out from the crowd is really all about having a voice. But at the Salone, with a hundred spectacular exhibition stands around you costing a million euro or more, the way to stand out from the crowd might be to do less. A minimalist design in the middle of all that noise might be exactly what draws attention from the right type of visitor.

Going for a minimalistic approach when your neighbors go extreme, is a bold move

We art curators and exhibition designers might not have the budget or the design team to come up with the spectacular set designs we have seen at the Salone del Mobile, but inspiration is priceless. I hope you got some tips and ideas to use in your next art show or exhibition. Please write me a message or a comment to let me know what you will do different in your upcoming exhibition!

The stand of Edra was impressive. After registration, I was allowed to test run their designs.

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