by Jincy IypeOct 18, 2021
The 38th edition of Cersaie, the pre-eminent international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, architecture and design is on full swing at the Bologna Exhibition Centre in Italy, from September 27 to October 1, 2021. Exhibitors at the in-person event are joined by a digital platform, designed to complement the physical show. All 15 halls of the venue are fully occupied with 623 exhibitors, including 38 per cent non-Italian companies from 28 different countries, apart from a packed cultural programme. These include Building, Dwelling, Thinking, which will have in attendance Renzo Piano’s illustrious G124 project, and Sensitive Architecture where speakers Odile Decq and Benedetta Tagliabue will discuss the importance of the tactile and sensorial aspect of architecture. Cersaie’s keynote lecture will once again be delivered by a Pritzker Prize laureate, this time Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, on the last day of the event.
Concurrently, STIR points the spotlight to the trends and themes identified by Cersaie, cherry-picking the most appropriate ceramic tiles that fit them, from the plethora of surface brands and companies exhibiting at the fair. These include floral motifs, abstract or literal, that highlight a desire to bring a small piece of nature into our pockets of living and working; surface designs that double up as decoration and furnishing; tiles that function and thrive on the exterior as well as the interior; stylised ones that transform a flat surface into a three dimensional one via an interplay of geometry, colours, and machine-done reliefs for 3D effects; ceramics that emulate natural textures but are easier to work with and install, compared to the real materials such as wood and stone, a trend that has stood the test of time; and last but not the least, brands that employ eco-friendly technologies to create cutting edge, circular tile designs.
1. La Fabbrica
One of La Fabricca’s six collections exhibited at Cersaie 2021, Imagine captures the freshness of nature’s “green” essence, where dry-pressed porcelain tiles are clothed in a typical aesthetic of wallpaper and have qualities of stoneware, namely non-absorbency and strength. Celebrating the true essence of Italian design, each decoration is a mélange of colours, textures and exotic plants, enriched by lustrous, iridescent finishes and reliefs that lend the slabs depth and cinematic effects, shares the company that specialises in the production and sale of high-end Italian ceramic floor and wall coverings.
2. ABK Group
Luxury and sophistication marry colour and modernity in Signoria, the latest addition to ABK’s Sensi range of marble-effect surfaces encompassing lux, soft and natural textures. The collection comes in large 120x280 cm, full-body porcelain slabs and consists of six varieties including Port Gold with a velvety black background crisscrossed by a web of golden veins.
Poetry House with Paola Navone
A collaboration with Paola Navone and Studio OTTO brought forth this collection, infused with the Milanese designer’s eclectic personality and interest in different cultures. “It is an authentic poetry of living, a distillation of the personal history and artistic experience that the designer brings to architectural spaces,” states the press release. The two collections include Poetry Wood that emulates the elegance of patinated timber in ceramic, and Poetry Stone, that has a vaguely tribal look inspired by stone art, and draws from the visual language that Studio OTTO is celebrated for.
3. Ceramica Fondovalle
This category from Fondavalle’s many displayed collections at Cersaie 2021 plays on the textures of linen and nature-inspired accents to emerge as painted canvases. The oversize porcelain stoneware slabs are presented as stunning wallpaper-effect panels with all the advantages of stoneware - water-resistance, long life, and an easy-to-clean finish. Slender slabs revel in a combination of wood, stone and concrete effects, dressed in delicate, 'designed' textures in three shades: cotton, a cool, bright white, navy blue and sage, dusty tones that evoke the hues of the skies and of nature.
4. FAP Ceramiche
This collection of ceramic wall tiles is a nod to nature’s power, an expression of its most exuberant fantasies. The large 80x160 cm panels are elements of furnishing with chromatic dynamism, romance and decoration presented via glossy lacquer on matte backgrounds, a combination of FAP’s aesthetic innovation and ability to anticipate living trends such as this one.
5. Decoratori Bassanesi
Colours by Paola Navone
Narrating the poetry of the ceramic surface, their new collections merge tradition and modernity and include local craftsmanship, planning and international aesthetic vision. This decisive range of ceramic surfaces recall the material experience of the brushstroke, via a palette chosen by Navone including royal blue, iron, black, light grey, marine green and dark gray decors.
Wabi-Sabi by Federica Biasi
Inspired by natural defects, this collection literally personifies the Japanese world view of “imperfect beauty”. With dualism and materiality at its core, the Wabi tiles feature a dense weave, a rich texture in levels and lightness, while Sabi has a more decisive and tangible surface design, despite its simpler, broader essence, both inviting the user to touch and truly experience it.
Foliage – Ducale, Luci di Venezia by DB Studio
This ornamental collection is “Venice in one surface”, where art, poetry and light of the lagoon city translates into tiles of beauty, creating unexpected light effects. Foliage is a reminder of nature that dances in an embrace of moonlight inching down from the sky and reflecting in water. Ducale profiles the symbolic palace of Venice narrated in a play of lines and chiaroscuro. In the 60x120 cm sizes, both are available in the black, silver, snow, ivory, bronze, green, blue and red colour variants.
6. Tonino Lambhorgini and Italcer
Launched at Cersaie 2021, the fresh collection displays a “leather effect” inspired by the accessories that the luxury accessories and real estate brand Tonino Lamborghini is known for. The tiles seem to defy the typical rectangular or squarish outlines and allures as a decorative element with unconventional angles and methods of mounting. The series comes in three large formats (120x280, 120x120 and 60x120) and nine colours, five for flooring and four for walls, and a range of five exquisite decorations.
The Icelandic word Nàttùra indicates everything related to the natural world - these 10mm thickness glass mosaics by SETTECENTO are supported on a porcelain biscuit, painted in vivid shades of bright colours ranging from cherry-red to crystal blue. The artisanal surface exudes warmth and is created through a random mix of transparent glass tiles that reverberate fresh and unusual hues to add oomph to any space.
CONTINUITY BETWEEN INDOORS AND OUTDOORS
Part of Mirage's new collection of floor and wall coverings for both indoors and outdoors, Elysian is porcelain stoneware inspired by its Greek name that means “perfect, divinely inspired”. The design seeks a balance between aesthetics and complexity in material, that draws from natural elements of the mining world.
Norr is one of their older collections that was revamped for their booth at Cersaie, its iconic texture inspired by Ceppo di Gré stone. Norr 2.0 can cover floors, walls and interior design solutions, in both public and residential settings and this versatility lends it a timeless visual and functional continuity.
9. Ceramica Sant'Agostino
Porcelain rectified marble effect of these tiles draw from the classicism that borders on almost metaphysical landscapes and thrives on its exclusive nature. This marries the colours of the earth and the material transcends colour, fitting right in residences of great personality, illustrious places and great fashion houses, hotels and restaurants as well as extraordinary boutiques.
This austere porcelain stoneware by Sant'Agostino evokes the beauty of timeless rituals, the celebration of prestigious places, of cathedrals and great libraries, palaces and museums, and fits right in within a home and its outer skin. With a LEED certification, the tiles encourage touch, to see natural light and lines mesmerise with precise angles in its details.
NATURAL MATERIAL LOOK
10. Italgraniti Group
This collection, like all others by Italgraniti Group, is synonymous with porcelain stoneware with extremely high technical and aesthetic performance. Raw materials are transformed into ceramic projects of absolute quality, to build a future of dreams and stability. "Research and industrial solutions are the result of decades of experience, and it is with these tools that we produce ceramic surfaces with the highest quality and aesthetic standards," shares the brand.
Clay merges with design to form Terre that interprets the true essence of unfired earth. This sculptural and tactile surface features spontaneous flaws that are baked within them, to emulate the textured rhythm reminiscent of the craft-based quality of hand-made clay bricks and pottery.
Porcelain stoneware designed to imitate metamorphic stones and marbled textures, Shale embodies graphic dynamism, chromatic control and studied traits of rocks.
Turkey's leading exporter of ceramic tiles to the EU, VitrA brings its 60-year expertise to bathrooms and other living spaces, including indoor and outdoor pools, gardens, and building exteriors to Cersaie, their most significant presence yet. A natural harmony of stone and concrete, CementMix Meso represents a transition between micro dotted cement and a terrazzo look, done by sprinkling medium-sized pebble pieces onto a cement surface, and is offered both in warm and cold colour tones.
MarmoMix is a tile system inspired by classical marbles for contemporary spaces which is compatible with other VitrA systems with its different sized offerings, and provides users flexibility in design.
Tamiz by Fran Silvestre
World-renowned architect Fran Silvestre designed TAMIZ, a latticework collection for HARMONY, where various tiles are combined in the style of a 3D checkerboard, connected at the same points to form a mesmerising vertical wall that ensures both privacy and transparency. “By controlling the temperature and filtering the light, the latticework ensures a greater sense of wellbeing. Modern-looking 20x20 tiles have been used in this fresh take on a traditional conceptual idea in shades of grey, white, blue and silver,” shares Harmony.
Bow by MUT
Taking cues from the Mediterranean, these tiles and surfaces become synonymous with sun and light, freshness and colour, merging expanses of the sea and sky. Winner of the 2020 Archiproducts Design Awards, this 15x45 collection also draws from typical roofs found in Mediterranean cities and stands out for its relief pattern and characteristic volume.
ECO FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGIES
13. Iris Ceramica Group
At Cersaie 2021, Iris Ceramica Group is celebrating its 60 years of activity with a multimedia journey, with three artistic audio and video installations devoted to three sets of values that have always represented the Group: Architecture and Nature, Beauty and Sustainability, Creativity and Technology. Hypertouch that uses an exclusive technology designed and patented by them – the surfaces are created with eco-active materials that are able to defeat antimicrobial agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, mould), pollution and odour particles. “Simply by touching or lightly pressing the surface, an integrated system of automatic sensors controls the lighting, HVAC and audio-video systems and windows,” shares the company.
Florim has been producing porcelain surfaces for almost 60 years – with their collections exhibited at Cersaie, it once again focuses on quality, innovation and sustainable design. One of the new collections, Earthtech combines a primordial story with an eye to a responsible future by transforming raw material into “technical earth” with a coloured-body ceramic product.