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Milan's fuorisalone rescheduled after Salone del Mobile postponement

Milan's fuorisalone design events scramble to reschedule following Salone del Mobile postponement

Curators preparing events in Milan during Salone del Mobile are frantically revising their plans after the furniture fair switched from its traditional April slot to 16-21 June due to coronavirus.

Organisers of the various design districts that together make up the unofficial "fuorisalone" programme of events around the city have all announced plans to reschedule following yesterday's decision to postpone the fair from April to June.

Brera Design Week, Lambrate Design District, Ventura Centrale and Ventura Future, Tortona Design Week, Isola Design District and 5Vie Art + Design have confirmed that they will now take place in June.

Destinations Spazio Rossana Orlandi and Alcova both confirmed that they too would move their multi-designer shows to June.

"The postponement of the salone will cause some disruption, but there could be an upside as well," said Alcova curators Valentina Ciuffi and Joseph Grima.

"Participants will have a couple of extra months to refine their projects, and the days will be longer and warmer in June."

Other organisers said they were making the change to maintain the coherence of Milan's design week, which is the world's biggest and most important design festival.

"The aim is to maintain the format that has made Milano Design Week the international reference point for the world of design," said Brera Design District in a statement published on Instagram.

However, it also warned that rearranging its events would be logistically challenging for everyone involved.

"It is a complicated process that must be managed in the best possible way and requires the commitment of all the operators, companies, partners and sponsors involved," the statement said.

Organisers may struggle to secure venues in June

After initially baulking at the additional disruption and cost of rescheduling, most Milanese curators now accept the need to follow Salone del Mobile's lead and shift to June.

Fuorisalone magazine, which publishes a guide to Milan design week each year, said that postponing events to June was the "most appropriate choice". But it warned in an article on its website that organisers would face competition to secure suitable venues for the new dates.

"The chosen week coincides in Milan with Men's Fashion Week and many exhibition spaces will be occupied by fashion shows and events," it said. "At this point, the exhibitors at fuorisalone will have to understand whether to change location or find a coexistence."

Others raised concerns that holding the fair during graduation season could prevent students from exhibiting and attending.

Margriet Vollenberg, who organises the Ventura Centrale and Ventura Future shows, said that the change of dates would impact student shows. "We present many international academies and they will have their graduations in June," she said.

Despite the concerns, many organisers gave defiant statements that the postponement would not negatively affect their events.

"We are proud to tell you that fuorisalone won't stop, and neither will the Lambrate Design District," a representative from the district told Dezeen.

"We agree with the hard decision because we believe having this huge and magnificent event in June will be safer for everybody and will make all the visitors enjoy the real spirit of the fuorisalone."

The decisions to reorganise the fuorisalone events follows Salone del Mobile's announcement yesterday that the furniture fair would be postponed until June.

In a video message posted on Twitter alongside the official announcement, Milan's mayor Giuseppe Sala urged the city to "pull together to make sure Milan doesn’t grind to a halt."

Italy has the highest number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Europe, with more than 320 cases reported in the country and 12 deaths. The majority of these are in the region of Lombardy, of which Milan is the capital.

The Italian government has declared a state of emergency and quarantined around 50,000 people in towns and villages surrounding the city. The virus has impacted other design events in the city including the world's biggest eyewear fair, MIDO, which has also been postponed.

Outside of Italy other design shows that have been impacted include the Light + Building fair in Frankfurt, and Design Shanghai in China.

The coronavirus outbreak has currently infected more than 80,000 people in 36 countries. The global death toll now stands at over 2,700.

Dezeen Events Guide's digital guide to Milan design week will now be delayed until June.