American architect Michael P. Johnson (left) was honored during Cersaie by the Italian Ceramic Society as the recipient of the 11th International Aldo Villa Award.


Arizona architect Michael P. Johnson was honored during Cersaie by the Italian Ceramic Society as the recipient of the 11th International Aldo Villa Award for his commitment to Italy’s ceramic sector. Johnson is the first North American architect to receive this prize.

As part of the award, Cersaie organizers also presented a retrospective of his work, which was on display in the fair’s architectural gallery. In addition, he was asked to participate in Cersaie’s largest-ever architectural conference program. Johnson presented a session entitled Living in the Desert in which he showed various architectural projects as examples of building, dwelling and living in this arid environment.

The award was established in 1989 by the Italian Ceramic Society to recognize an individual who has contributed to the development of the ceramic industry. It is named after Mr. Aldo Villa, chairman of SACMI, the world leader in equipment and machinery for ceramics. The recipient of the award - a gold medal designed by sculptor and ceramicist Carlo Zauli - is selected by a Committee consisting of the Chairman of the Italian Ceramic Society and five members appointed by the Board of Directors. Previous honorees include: Dr. Ibrahim Bodur, founding chief and chairman of the Board of the Kale Group (2007); Prof. Carlo Palmonari, director Centro Ceramico Bologna (2005); Filippo Marazzi, chairman of Ceramiche Marazzi Group (2003); Vittoriano Bitossi, chairman of Colorobbia Holding (2001); Josè Soriano Ramos, chairman of Porcelanosa S.A. Group (1999); Prof. Leopoldo Cini, honorary chairman of Italian Ceramic Society (1997); Prof. Philip Rosenthal; chairman of Rosenthal AG (1995); Romano Minozzi; chairman of IRIS Ceramica Spa (1993); Prof Alex Muller and Dr. Georg Bednorz, researchers at the I.B.M Research Center in Zurich (1991); and Adriano Bossetti, chairman of S.I.T.I Spa (1989).