The 34th edition of Cersaie, Italy’s international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, offered an update on last year’s trends for tiles. Among some of the major highlights of this year’s fair, Italian company Scavolini participated, for the first time, by unveiling its bathroom and kitchen Ki collection, designed by Studio Nendo. Visitors also gathered for an inspiring talk from both architects Norman Foster and Solano Benitez.
Brain-cozy Creative Power
The 85-year-old Lord Norman Robert Foster took young students and course architects on the riveting historical trail of his career. He concluded by talking about the Scopus award he received, designed by performance artist Marina Ambramovic as a golden model of the architect’s brain. The award was enclosed with a pink, cerebrum-like cap that the artist christened “brain cozy.”
“I’d say that in the pursuit of architecture and beauty, it’s all about the creative power of the individuals, the team,” Foster said. “It’s totally about the creative part.”
A Dwelling for 25 Grandchildren
“The absence of fear, free from thoughts of limitations or obstacles,” Solano Benitez explained. “We have always held a smile, distinguishing us Paraguayans from others.”
The renowned architect chose to speak about his beginning, one that included the design of his mother’s home for six brothers and 25 grandchildren.
Researching low-cost solutions that are adaptable to the Paraguayan climate, is a part of the Benitez’s core. He presented an innovative construction system of brick and concrete with a very low impact technology at the Venice Biennale.
“Even when it seems impossible.
“We must think of brick as a material that offers continuous opportunities to experience things never attempted before, even when it seems impossible.”
In the Bathroom with Scavolini
Although Scavolini presented its Ki collection in Salone del Mobile last April, the company participated in Cersaie for the very first time. Japanese designer Oki Sato explains the making of the kitchen and bathroom collection Ki:
“The idea was to make it hidden into different object to create more space in the kitchen…something that is different from the other kitchens and so I named it Ki, because it means bowl or container in Japanese, also meaning wood.”
Tile Talk: An Update on Trends
While a strong interest in wood-inspired ceramic tiles continues, companies are incorporating new forms such as basket-weaving designs. Trends included tiles mimicking tweed-style fabric and lace imprints. Italian company SICIS developed a technique in which a mosaic effect is achieved by sealing a textile beneath glass. As for technology, Ardogres exhibited its Ardosolar roof tile system that comes equipped with thin photovoltaic panels.