Milan makes a habit of celebrating its own heroes. Every year, the Triennale holds an exhibition dedicated to the same (now mostly dead) maestri—Sottsass, Mendini, Magistretti, and the like. Wonderful though that generation was, Milan ought to be a place that generates new heroes. But this year, far from being a hotbed of innovation, Milan was in the grip of the tried and tested.
Where normally the fringe events are so numerous and compelling that many visitors feel no need even to go to the fiera, this year the city was quieter than usual and the fair itself seemed busier. I’ll be curious to see the attendance figures, but it was as though Milan was retracting to its core concerns—products, and business, as usual.