From left to right: Giorgio Squinzi, Chairman of Federchimica and MAPEI; Enzo Mularoni, Assopiastrelle Vice Chairman; Alfonso Panzani, Assopiastrelle Chairman; Ugo Calzoni, Director General of the Italian Trade Commission ICE; Franco Vantaggi, Director General of Assopiastrelle.


The Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition 2006 offers a new incentive for contractors and distributors.
Ceramic Tiles of Italy Hosts International Press Conference During Cersaie 2005
On Wednesday, September 28, 2005, Ceramic Tiles of Italy hosted an International Press Conference at the Fondazione Ca' la Ghironda Contemporary Art Museum in Ponte di Ronca, a unique villa filled with a private collection of classic, modern and contemporary art. The event, held on the second day of Cersaie 2005, drew a crowd of over 280 people - including journalists from around the world. The conference was moderated by Franco Vantaggi, Director General of Assopiastrelle and featured a panel of industry professionals including: Alfonso Panzani, Assopiastrelle Chairman; Enzo Mularoni, Assopiastrelle Vice Chairman; Giorgio Squinzi, Chairman of Federchimica and Mapei; Ugo Calzoni, Director General of the Italian Trade Commission ICE; and Aldo Colonetti, Scientific Director of Markitecture.

Assopiastrelle Chairman Alfonso Panzani opened the conference with a presentation on the Italian ceramic tile industry and its international position in the market. He also discussed key sales statistics and figures. Topics including the role of technological innovation in product development and new applications for tiles were addressed by each of the panelists.

Dante Donegani and Michele Capuani, coordinators of Exercises in Architecture, followed with a discussion of Cumulus, an exhibition of 15 cutting-edge prototypes developed by student-designer teams. A few notable examples include: Climate Control Tile, which uses aerospace technologies to create exterior tiles that change color as climate conditions vary during the year and Glow, which is operated by a photovoltaic energy system to create luminous effects on building facades. Contact allows lights, faucets and electrical devices to be easily turned on and off by touching the tile. Modulo is a floor system for urban areas in which the tiles open to function as bike racks, speed bumps or lighting units and then retract into the ground when not needed. Water Mirror consists of exterior paving tiles that collect the water in shallow tanks - creating aquatic mirrors that reflect the natural surroundings. The exhibit, which was on display throughout Cersaie (as part of Cersaie Village), gave attendees a first-hand look at the Italian tile industry's commitment to future innovation.

The night concluded with an award ceremony. Panzani announced the winners of three Industry Awards for Europe and Asia: the Assopiastrelle Distributors Award, the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Journalism Award and the Cumulus Design Competition awards. Glow, designed by Pancharapong Sntanaphan from the Central Saint Martin's College of Arts and Design in London, was given first prize in the Cumulus Design Competition.

To read more about Ceramic Tiles of Italy's International Press Conference and the Cumulus exhibit, visit, www.italiatiles.com. The site offers additional information on Cersaie including show facts and figures, key interviews and images from the showfloor.



Refin's new whimsical series "Maxxi" offers a wide range of modular sizes, including a 60-by-60-cm size for large spaces and various rectangular sizes. It is complemented by exclusive accents such as Wave, which plays with the contrast between black and white.
Ceramic Tiles Of Italy Design Competition 2006 - New Incentive for Contractors and Distributors
Ceramic Tiles of Italy is once again looking for outstanding commercial, residential or institutional projects that feature Italian ceramic tile. This year, competition sponsors - Assopiastrelle, the Association of Italian Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, and the Italian Trade Commission - have added an extra incentive to the annual Design Competition. For the first time, an additional $1,000 will be shared by the winning contractor/distributor team. Now, in addition to a satisfied client, contractors and distributors will be recognized publicly for their commitment to Italian tile.

North American architects and designers are invited to submit their best projects featuring Italian ceramic tiles. Entries for domestic and international new construction and renovation projects completed between January 2001 and January 2006 are eligible. Participating distributors, contractors and manufacturers can also submit projects on their clients' behalf. A prize of $5000 will be awarded to the winning architect/design firm in each of the three categories (institutional, commercial & residential). Qualifying distributors/contractors listed on the submission forms of the winning projects will split an additional award of $1000.

A panel of design professionals will judge the projects based on their creativity, aesthetic value, and how the tiles meet their functional and technical requirements. The criteria for the jury includes: overall design of the project, innovative use of tile, tile design, quality of installation and degree that tile enhanced the setting.

Completed submissions must be received no later than January 31, 2006. For more information contact Novità Communications at info@novitapr.com or call 718-857-4806.



On September 17, 2005, the Piazza Italia officially opened in Kobe, Japan. The tiles were supplied by leading Italian manufacturer, Del Conca.
Ceramiche Refin Awarded Ecolabel Certification
Ceramiche Refin has been granted Ecolabel certification in recognition of its commitment to offering products that fulfill environmental requirements. The prestigious Ecolabel certification assures an improvement to product quality in all stages of the lifecycle through selection and control of raw materials; reduction in water and energy consumption during the production cycle; strict control of emissions of substances harmful to health and the environment; and intrinsic eco-compatibility of products that do not release harmful substances during use. Along with Artech, Avantgarde, Ardennes, and Borgogna, Ceramiche Refin recently increased with the number of its certified series with the addition of the Next series and the new Maxxi and Fabula series.

Refin joins a list of Italian tile manufacturers including Caesar and Atlas Concorde who have demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability. For more information on Refin, visit www.refin.it.

Italian Tiles Make Their Mark on Japan
Assopiastrelle, the Italian Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, is proud to announce the opening of the Piazza Italia in Kobe, Japan. The new Piazza Italia square in Kobe, a city struck in 1995 by a disastrous earthquake, was developed by Italian architects Laura Mascino and Barbara Agnoletto using state-of-the-art Italian tiles from Del Conca.

Prior to the opening ceremony, there was a seminar entitled, "The Creative Force of Ceramic Tiles of Italy." The lecture featured Roberto Pelo (Director of the Italian Trade Commission in Tokyo), Stefano Zanini (Italian Consul General), Kyoki Ueda (Director of International Division City of Kobe), Yuji Watanabe (Director General of Jetro Kobe), Duccio Campagnoli (Emilia-Romagna regional councilor for production activities), Enzo Mularoni (Vice Chairman of Assopiastrelle and CEO of Ceramica Del COnca), Laura Mascino from the architectural firm Mascino Agnoletto and Inokuchi Yoshifumi, architect and professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design. The seminar, which was aimed at architects, importers and the local media, explored the technical characteristics of tiles and their potential for application in public spaces and urban design.

For more information on the project, visit www.italiatiles.com.

Glocal (Global + Local) Architecture For The New Marazzi Group Collection
Cersaie 2005 was an overwhelming success for the Marazzi Group. In addition to launching a number of stunning new products, their new exhibit, designed by Architects Vannicola, Palma and Monti, was the talk of the tradeshow. Vannicola, Palma and Monti were charged with the task of organizing the various companies' different product collections under a single roof and allowing the different brands to fully express their personalities. The result was a modern exhibit divided into a series of islands - one for each of the Marazzi Group member companies.

The concept behind the exhibit's design can be summed up by the neologism "glocal" or the combination of global and local. On one hand, this term shows the group's international scope, while on the other it demonstrates their strategy of maintaining a local presence in growing markets in order to understand customers' needs and provide the best possible response in terms of products and service.

To learn more about the Marazzi Group and its member companies, visit www.gruppmarazzi.com.

Fincibec Upgrades Production Plants and Raises Production
Fincibec, producers of fine Italian tile, is raising its output with the introduction of a new process line. A twin-channel roller kiln, measuring 71.94 meters in length with an infeed width of 2500mm will be used for the production of porcelain tile. The new kiln will be supplied by B&T together with the dedicated handling machines. It will be able to fire two separate products with very different cycles and temperatures between two levels. The Pegaso kiln supervision unit will be capable of controlling and managing all the normal process parameters as well as the firing recipes. The kiln will also be equipped with a remote monitoring system. For additional news on Fincibec, visit www.fincibec.it.