Exercise in architecture: a selection of projects carried out by students taking part in the Domus Academy 2003 Masters Course for Architects and Designers are on show at an exhibition held in the Bologna Modern Art Gallery.

Student projects from the Domus Academy Masters Course for Architects and Designers.
Cersaie 2004, the 22nd international exhibition of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings, will be held from September 28th to October 3rd. This year, the show will be larger and will host a greater number of exhibitors than ever before. Additionally, nearly 100,000 buyers are expected and to accommodate the ever-growing numbers; the Bologna exhibition center will be offering exhibitors the use of a new two-level hall (16 and 18) located alongside the recently-opened hall 19 - 20.

Visitors will also find another new and exciting addition. The whole of hall 29 will be devoted to bathroom furnishings due to the fact that last year there were 383 bathroom furnishings exhibitors, comprising approximately 37 percent of the entire show. The new hall, created specially for Cersaie 2004, was designed by the architectural firm Pierluigi Cerri & Associati of Milan, and represents a further step forward in the overall modernization plan for the entire facility by BolognaFiere. The new hall encompasses a total area of 28,000 square meters and includes large multifunctional areas as well as a restaurant. This extra exhibit space is already fully booked, demonstrating just how eagerly this event is anticipated by both Italian and foreign companies. Cersaie Has a New Look

Joining the ranks of internationally renowned designers who have turned their talents to the annual re-design of the CERSAIE poster - Ettore Sottsass (2000), Alessandro Mendini (2001), Massimo Iosa Ghini (2002) Denis Santachiara (2003) - American architect Hani Rashid is the fifth designer (and first American) to develop a unique image for this year's poster.

Rashid envisions ceramic tiles as a bridge between the works of man and the perfection of natural materials, linking the real space of nature with the virtual space of architecture.

"Architecture, art and design are all forms of dialogue with nature and its dynamic and chaotic forces," explains Rashid. "The essence of ceramic tiles is to reconcile the works of man with the material perfection of nature."

"Constant efforts to imagine, design and create are driven by a desire to attain eternal beauty, which within certain limits is represented by nature. Today these efforts are focused on precision, elegance, beauty and above all perfection. In this sense the works of man are nothing other than an attempt to traverse the ambiguous space between reality and virtuality."

Enzo Mularoni, Assopiastrelle Vice Chairman and head of promotional activities at Markitecture.

That a great international designer created this poster further underscores Cersaie's important role as one of the world's leading design-industry events.

A Rich Program

Cersaie 2004 will include the now annual design symposium Markitecture - Value in Architecture. Last year Markitecture explored the connection between Bologna as a cultural center for architecture and design and the Bologna Fairgrounds as a center for commercial and professional innovation in the world of construction. This year the scope of the conference has both expanded to include the study of design and architecture from around the world and narrowed to focus on the use of ceramics in building. With innovation as a predominate theme, the workshops will focus on innovative projects and will include many large-scale application projects like airports, sports facilities, shopping areas, and ventilated facades. This year's Markitecture exhibition, designed by Massimo Iosa Ghini and Studio Azzurro, will feature both Italian and international projects that exemplify the vast design potential of ceramic materials.

Once again, the Domus Academy design school and Assopiastrelle will collaborate to create an exhibition featuring 22 experimental design proposals by 68 young designers from 24 different countries. Entitled "Ceramic Tiles of Italy, Exercises in Architecture," this creative exhibition explores the functional and aesthetic uses of ceramic tile in residential building and urban design. And this year for the first time, a number of tile companies will be presenting prototypes designed by students.

The students were divided into groups and given specific ideas such as the dichotomy of strength and fragility, surface as mode of communication, or the imitative potential of ceramic material to guide their design concepts.

Viewing the Domus Academy projects at the Modern Art Gallery in Bologna.

Each group was lead by one of seven design giants: Claudio Raimondo, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Maurizio Corrado, Marc Sadler, Denis Santachiara, Dante Donegani, and Giovanni Lauda.

In addition, the overall prestige of the show will be further enhanced by the planned conference on economics featuring several of Italy's most prominent figures in the field; including Luca Montezemolo, the recently appointed head of Confindustria, Italy's manufacturers' association. Mr. Montezemolo, who has also been the head of Ferrari for the past 13 years, will be an exciting addition as he has been profiled a great deal in the news since his designation as chairman of Fiat. The conference will be moderated by the director general of Assopiastrelle, Franco Vantaggi, and will also include Sergio Cofferati, the mayor of Bologna; Adolfo Urso, the vice minister of production with the delegation of foreign trade; and Sergio Sassi, the president of Assopiastrelle.

Finally, an international press conference on Wednesday, September 29, will be the moment when industry leaders update the press on market trends and future projections. Sponsored by Assopiatrelle and the Italian Trade Commission, the panel will explore the state of the art in Italian ceramic tile, the promotional strategies planned for the industry and the ways in which the Italian industrial system intends to support its companies worldwide. Particular attention will be focused on key projects featuring the use of Italian ceramic tiles worldwide. The conference will also include a ceremony for the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Journalism Award and the Assopiastrelle Distributor Award for the best Italian and foreign distributors.

For more information visit www.cersaie.it or www.italiatiles.com Ceramic Tiles of Italy, promoted by Assopiastrelle (Association of Italian Ceramic Tile and Refractory Manufacturers), is a trademark of Edi.Cer SpA.

As part of the “Markitecture, Value in Architecture” program, Olivier Boissière discusses the Architecture of Light.
Italian Tile Industry Announces Guidelines for the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition 2005

The Italian ceramic tile industry is pleased to announce the 12th edition of the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition. This annual awards program, sponsored by Assopiastrelle, the Association of Italian Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, and the Italian Trade Commission, recognizes design excellence in projects that feature Italian ceramic tile. North American architects and interior designers are invited to submit residential, commercial, or institutional projects.

A jury of design professionals will judge projects on their creative attributes as well as how the tiles meet their functional and technical requirements. Submissions from three categories, residential, institutional, and commercial, may be entered for consideration.

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. Winners in each category will receive a cash prize of $5,000, and a trip to Coverings May 3-5, 2005. Winners will also be eligible for a trip to CERSAIE 2005, to be held in Bologna, Italy.

Entries may be submitted for domestic and international new construction and renovation projects completed between January 2000 and January, 2005.

Completed submissions must be received no later than January 30, 2005.

For more information and an application, visit: www.italiatiles.com or www.italytile.com or contact Novita communications at info@novitapr.com.