The sensible answer is “no.” Gasp*
The world is already stuffed with chairs, many of which made their debuts at past Milan fairs. We don’t need more of them, just as we don’t need more tables, lamps, vases, closets, or any of the other objects that will be exhibited at the 2010 fair opening Wednesday. Unless, of course, they’re gobstoppingly innovative, beautiful, sustainable, expressive, useful or whatever.
Producing something special is getting tougher for the furniture industry. First, technology is now more important than furniture in product design. (Odds are that the most drooled-over objects in Milan this week will be shiny new Apple iPads, not chairs.) Second, design’s intellectual focus has swung away from producing tangible things, like furniture, toward the abstract process of applying design thinking to ethical issues, such as social, environmental or humanitarian problems, and developing sexy new technologies, like data visualization.