Inspired by the openness of a piazza, the Italian Pavilion will be alive with the sights, sounds and aromas of this magnificent country. The new 3,500 square foot central exhibit is designed by minimalist architect and 2008 Ceramic Tiles of Italy Legend Award Winner Michael P. Johnson of MPJ Design Studio. Like much of his work, it will feature crisp clean lines, contemporary geometric forms and state-of-the-art technological systems.
Sleek modern formats ranging from 12”x 24” tiles to 3m x 1m slabs will be used throughout the booth, serving to further enhance Johnson’s iconic architectural aesthetic. Another notable aspect of this booth will be its sustainability, as many of the featured tiles contain recycled content. Johnson’s work will salute Ceramic Tiles of Italy’s new ad campaign, which promotes green design and the eco-friendly attributes of tile. Porcelain-clad structures will house the ever-popular café, coffee bar and information area. Along with these amenities, the space will feature an energy-efficient ventilated wall facade and an elevated flooring system, designed to inspire users to take tile beyond the kitchen and the bath.
A few steps away, attendees will be impressed by the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition exhibition. Mirroring the architecture of the central stand, the captivating space will pay tribute to this year’s winners and display outstanding examples of original and inventive tile installations. On Wednesday, April 22, the winners of both the Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition and Confindustria Ceramica Distributor Award will be announced.
The Ceramic Tiles of Italy booth will act as a central hub for Italian tile manufacturers and their respective clients. In this ever-changing marketplace, Coverings attendees can take comfort in the fact that doing business with Italy means products they can count on. In fact, this year close to 60 of the country’s leading producers will participate in the show. Each will present a range of new products that combine Italian style with American standards. As a whole, the industry will actively demonstrate the distinguishing features of Italian tile: quality, durability, design, responsible production and superior craftsmanship.
A variety of new trends will also come into play this season. Metallic surfaces, large scale formats and unusual shapes are three of the current themes to notice in Chicago. Echoing the universal theme of the Ceramic Tiles of Italy piazza, sustainable design will play a major role in this season’s introductions. In addition to strict European production standards, more and more producers are developing LEED-compliant collections that meet the stringent requirements of the USGBC. Both environmentally friendly and design-forward, these products will surely earn attention and praise from architects, designers, contractors and distributors alike.
Ceramic Tiles of Italy will take the opportunity to introduce the second-edition of its S-tiles, Italian Tiles Towards Sustainability website (www.s-tiles.it). The updated version will feature case studies from around the world, including two from the USA, and offer a continually updated reference gallery with catalogs and information on Eco-Label and LEED-compliant tiles from Italy.
To make the trip to the Italian Pavilion even more meaningful, Ceramic Tiles of Italy has developed a promotional campaign that recognizes its valued business partners. Giant totems and thought-provoking banners will welcome attendees in the lobby foyer. Once inside, guests will immediately notice the custom designed-carpeting, interspersed with the Ceramic Tiles of Italy logo and carefully selected words evoking the versatile artistic and practical qualities associated with the industry and its products. The popular “Guide to the Italian Pavilion” will be back, albeit with a fresh look. Packed with images and information on new offerings, the catalog will be an industry tool for Coverings attendees both during the show and long after.
For additional information on Ceramic Tiles of Italy’s plans for Coverings 2009, visit www.italiantiles.com.