“Everything’s the same.” During the press conference at last year’s Cersaie fair in Italy, architects discussed their discontent of the selection of ceramics on display.
Although we’ve been seeing the same trends a few years now–ceramics that look like fabric, wood, brick, marble or stone; ceramics with patterns, mosaics, pop art and/or refined surfaces–and while certain architects like Glenn Murcutt are faithful to the one tile they love, disappointed when the collection becomes fashionably ‘outdated’ and is discontinued; there’s still a way for brands to put forward the value in their products.
For all events, our main purpose is to create a visually appealing and relaxed space in which our visitors feel at ease,” Vives representative explains to ArchiExpo. “If visitors enjoy the stand, the impact of our products will be higher, and for our visitors, the product’s value will increase.
ArchiExpo toured the ceramic fair Cevisama 2016, held in Valencia, to pinpoint some of the brands on track.
A Window Shopping Experience
Emigres, a ceramic manufacturer based in India, welcomed visitors with a “hello” fluorescent red sign. “Hello,” under which a tall single table and chair were placed, with a pendant lamp dangling to the right, hung against a brick-like ceramic wall.
The design team played with lines and color of the ceramic collection to allow an illusion of light coming from the lamp, as if it were turned on.
We followed the smell of bread to a display of thick loaves, delicious brioche and mini cupcakes. “Dual Gres Café” was written in cursive on the window and surrounded by a beautifully designed outline, and a framed blackboard provided the ‘café’s’ coffee and tea selection.
To the left and right of the ‘baker’s’ counter, Dual Gres installed their dark brick-like ceramic product; behind the counter, they used a patterned brick-like ceramic; the counter itself displayed a light brick-like ceramic. They seemed to have mixed a few collections: Bristol (grey and black) and La Fusta. Simply delightful.
On the Inside: Stunning Interiors
Gala presented simple, yet beautiful ceramics in well-designed public and private settings. Their stand was divided into various spaces, each attributed a role. One room was centered around architects at work and study habits. Individual world maps overlooked three desks, with strings pinned at city locations and strung several inches away, connecting to major architectural phenomena. This setting inspires architecture students, the future leaders, and ignites warm memories for established professionals.
We continue walking the halls, excited to discover more.
Visitors could hear the sound of water running down a stream and birds chirping as they would on a Sunday morning. Vives porcelain tiles trick the eye from the exterior of their stand. We see their Strand collection that represents OSB wood with a unique Nenets pattern on each side of the stand —tilted stripes of various colors. It looks like plywood and feels like plywood, but it is in fact porcelain.
“All our stands are always created and designed by the design department of Vives Azulejos y Gres. It is a joint work of our department, formed by several people.”
We missed the butterflies, seen in the event video, but we caught sight of all the fun patterns. Check out the video to see their products:
The Shopping Mall
Before leaving Cevisama, we spotted a large ‘cardboard box’ that looked as if it had been cut out and put together. It was colorful and seemed to have windows. At the edge of the wall, we noticed a pair of scissors painted near a vertical dash. A line of dashes ran from the floor to the top of the ‘cut-out building.’ A closer looked confirmed the ‘building’ really was made of cardboard.
At the entrance, a sign for the “Peronda Shopping Mall” welcomed happy shoppers. Inside the Peronda dream, ceramic tiles of various styles made each room heavenly; from the barber shop to the mechanic to a shoe boutique, visitors could check off items from their shopping list. And check they did.
A Philosopher’s Reasoning to the Madness
Throughout the ceramic projects on display at Cevisama, in the exhibition Expo Catedra 2016, organized by ASCER’s Network of Ceramic Tile Studies Department; students recall an important ingredient to the creation process:
“The play element is not a product of culture. It is rather the source of culture, which is channeled by playing.” Dutch philosopher and historian Johan Huizinga emphasized the archetypical image of humankind that ‘plays’ in his book Humo Ludens (1938).
Let’s play again soon!