Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, will take place from September 30 to October 4, 2008 at the Bologna Exhibition Centre, and will treat visitors from all over the world to a one-of-a-kind trade show experience. Boasting more than 1,000 exhibitors from 32 different countries and an exhibit space of 160,000 square meters, this global show is a launching pad for top products, industry leading innovations and design-forward ideas. Simply stated, when Cersaie comes to town, the culinary capital of the world is taken over by tile, tile and more tile.

In terms of new introductions, Italian tile producers never fail to impress and inspire. Tantalizing textures, rich colors and never-before seen formats are just a few of the trends to look out for at the 2008 show. Italian manufacturers are not just design-savvy, they constantly push the technological limit, follow strict environmentally friendly production standards and set the top level of quality for the industry.

The annual debut of new products is one of the many ongoing traditions that have come to be associated with this trade fair. Year after year, Cersaie show-goers look forward to learning which big architect has designed the yearly poster.

This time, Pritzker Prize winner Thom Mayne joins the impressive list of international architects. He follows in the footsteps of Toyo Ito (Cersaie 2007), Antonio Citterio (Cersaie 2006), David Palterer (2005), Hani Rashid (2004), Denis Santachiara (2003), Massimo Iosa Ghini (2002), Alessandro Mendini (2001) and Ettore Sottsass (2000).

Co-founder of the architecture firm Morphosis, located in Santa Monica, CA, Thom Mayne has been the recipient of 25 Progressive Architecture Awards, 60 AIA Awards and numerous other design recognitions. Under his direction, the firm has been the subject of extensive publications and exhibitions throughout the world. Previously a keynote speaker at Cersaie in 2006, Mayne now puts his vision to paper to produce the 2008 poster. He sums up the inspiration for the image he designed in the following words:

“Architecture is becoming more fluid. The standard is no longer the square tile only. Formal language emerges from lines of force and space develops fluidly in response to rapidly evolving conditions and technologies. Process and materials need to evolve and adapt to contemporary conditions to remain relevant and current in architecture. Fluidity enables the continued emergence of innovation of materials; materials that accommodate the double curve or the 3rd dimension for curvilinear spaces represent immense potential and creativity for architecture and design.”

This strong architectural component of the show is always present. In addition to the poster, Cersaie organizers Edi.Cer, Confindustria Ceramica, the association of Italian ceramics, and BolognaFiere consistently create a line-up of events that focuses on the architect and design community–pulling together key industry leaders to speak on pertinent topics.

This year’s campaign is no exception. Attendees to the 2008 show can take advantage of a program that celebrates architect and design through panels and design-forward exhibits, like the recent Architectural_Food exhibit that was on display at the Milan Furniture Fair this past April. Stay tuned to www.italiatiles.com and www.cersaie.it for additional details.