THE NUMBERS OF DESIGN WEEK 2019: QUALITY VS QUANTITY
Like every year, at the end of the Design Week of Milan, the same-old farce of figures (and visitors) takes place and whoever gives the highest ones, as in a fishing contest whoever catches the biggest one. No one makes a difference among typologies, substance, message, purpose of the events, as long as the biggest crowd is reported, and any means is legitimate. It is not important to make a distinction among operators and creatives and groups of youngsters full of beer (irregularly sold cheaply in the streets of design) or the parades with drums or irreverent masquerades like sumo fighters with huge fake bellies wandering around the showrooms. There are then the “easy-click” ones, attracted by spectacular installations such as the zipper on the facade or the pierced-woman-chair by Gaetano Pesce, that have a little to do with the design news but seem to catch the public eye. The compelling question spreading among the operators at the end of Design Week is “how many people?” where each one hopes to defeat the other and often bluffs. I don’t think anyone can give an exact number, divided per district, presences, as there are no actual measurement tools.
Many visitors widespread all over Milan, queues, traffic jams, it is impossible to know how many of them were actually motivated and how many arrived out of curiosity or to share the party or create chaos, or to lose themselves into the movida resurfacing here and there, especially in the evenings and on weekend. The problem appears repeatedly every year. At Superstudio we have chosen selection and quality, with a mandatory registration, for respect of the companies and professionals that are the framework of the Design Week and the ensuing economy.
This worked as deterrent creating a happy island. 80.000 registered visitors and over 2.200 journalists is a result that makes us proud. Just like the 45.000 focused visitors of the week at Triennale that definitely do not weigh less than the titanic crowds that invaded the streets. Also the 1.200 cultured visitors registered per day at the new stage of temporary design of Teatro Parenti made the manager-director Andrée Shammah pleased. Because everything is relative. Maybe even the 250.000 passers-by reported by Brera District or the 150.000 ones communicated by Tortona District, excluding passers-by and party-goers, shouldn’t be regarded as satisfactory data? And what about the over 1.500 events? Maybe a reflection is starting that “less is better”? Is it possible that in a Milan brimming with improvised design, only selection may save quality?