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Apr. 7, 2010 

The art world has Art Basel, Frieze and the Armory Show. For the contemporary design world, itís the Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, a spring design fair with satellite exhibitions and other events that drew more than 300,000 visitors in 2009. This yearís Salone, Apr. 14-19, 2010, the 49th edition, takes place as usual in the cityís Rho exhibition center -- with 1,080 Italian and 290 foreign exhibitors, filling no less than 14 pavilions -- and includes the Salone Satellite dedicated to young designers. It also has a special emphasis this year on high-tech kitchen and bathroom furnishings. The 2010 Saloni also includes a preview on the subject of "The Office," which is one focus of the 2011 fair.

One of the satellite events is "Unexpected Guests," Mar. 11-May 2, 2010, which fills several of the cityís historical residences -- the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Casa Boschi di Stefano, Villa Necchi Campiglio and the Museo Poldi Pezzoli -- with contemporary art and design. Organized by Beppe Finessi and Cristina Miglio, with Italo Lupi, the enterprise involves more than 200 design items, from housewares to furniture, by designers ranging from Ron Arad, Tord Boontje and Fernando & Humberto Campana to Gaetano Pesce, Ettore Sottsass and Philippe Starck.

Also on tap during i Saloni is "Tutti a tavola!," or "Everyone to the table!," the traditional Italian call to announce that the meal is ready. Organized by Franco Laera, artistic director of Change Performing Arts (which produced Peter Greenawayís Last Supper of Leonardo in 2008), "Tutti a tavola!" takes place at Milanís 18th-century aristocratic Villa Reale, now the city Gallery of Modern Art, with multimedia installations in the various rooms devoted to the types of meal in Italian culture, from the wedding feast and dinner party to the coffee break and street-food festival.

This year the Salone Satellite, Apr. 14-19, 2010, has approximately 700 participants and 24 design schools. The cutting-edge designers are required to present at least one prototype for the kitchen or bath. A special cash prize goes to three winners in each category, selected by a jury that includes Museum of Modern Art design curator Paola Antonelli, architect Paola Piva, Agape CEO Emanuele Benedini, and others. For the 2009 edition of the Salone Satellite dedicated to young designers, see the report on DesignBoom.

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