Organizers of the recently concluded edition of Cersaie, the international exhibition of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings, are reporting that not only was exhibition space sold out (176,000 sq. meters; 1,012 exhibitors from 33 countries), but that the show “maintained its ability to attract visitors, largely due to cooperation with BolognaFiere, reporting a total attendance of 83,286, substantially stable with respect to the 2009 show (+0.2%). The number of international visitors rose to 24,960 (+7.9%), while the Italian attendance of 58,326 was 4.25% down on last year’s figure due to the extraordinary numbers of visitors drawn by last year’s keynote lecture given by Renzo Piano. Italian attendance now accounts for 70% of the total. Although small (2,584), the number of paying admissions rose by 55.1%.”
One of the most popular events was the conference entitled “Climate Change?” which saw the participation of the vice minister for economic development Stefano Saglia, the vice chairman of confindustria Alberto Bombassei, the president of Regione Emilia-Romagna Vasco Errani, professor Marco Fortis and the chairman of confindustria ceramica Franco Manfredini.
The series of events, “Building, Dwelling, Thinking,” while targeted to professionals and specialists, these events also aimed to reach out to a “broader audience of journalists, students and the general public in line with Cersaie’s growing attention not just to products but also to architecture, design and cultural contributions capable of creating added value for the product,” says Confindustria Ceramica. “Young people in particular were in strong attendance at the meeting with Enzo Mari, at the keynote lecture given by David Childs and at the conference by Renzo Piano Building Workshop devoted to Central St. Giles in London.”
Further, young professionals were also spotlighted in a series of competitions and exhibitions within the “Saper Fare” section promoting young talents in the fields of architecture, graphics and design. The poster for Cersaie itself, based on the theme of a Ceramic Eden, was designed by Alessandra Parodi, an architecture student at the University of Genoa.
Numerous events focused on the city of Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna region as a whole, from “Cersaie Downtown. The streets of design” – with exhibitions and events in the centre of Bologna – through to the competition of ideas entitled “Emilia-Romagna, Urban Polis Future”, which also involved the cities of Imola, Modena, Sassuolo and Reggio Emilia.
Cersaie 2011 will be held earlier than in previous years - September 20-24 - and will be themed “Ceramic Evolution,” which according to the show’s organizers, “reflects the challenge facing the Italian ceramic industry, demonstrated by Cersaie’s ability to reinvent itself by combining tradition and innovation, functionality and design while maintaining its overall world leadership in terms of export value during this difficult period.”