November 13, 2014
by Canadian Architect
Held in Bologna, Italy from September 22-26, 2014, Cersaie – the world’s pre-eminent exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings – was teeming with design, craftsmanship and innovation with nearly 1,000 exhibitors from 38 countries introducing their latest products to the market. Some of the hottest trends signal what’s to come for 2015, and are presented below.
Boom. Pop. Wow!
Among the abundance of graphic tiles at Cersaie, many companies turned to the world of comics and pop art to create playful collections of functional wall art. Imola and Ascot paid tribute to the kings of pop art, Roy Lichtenstein and Keith Haring, while Del Conca presented animated characters from the popular Japanese manga series, Lupin the 3rd. Collections include: Game of Fifteen by Ascot, Lupin the 3rd by Del Conca, Pop by Imola and Quindicidecimi by Ornamenta.
While some companies focused on luxurious white marble such as calacatta, carrara and statuario, others continued to expand their marble lines to include creamy tones of travertine and darker hues like Saint Laurent and Berimbau. In addition, novel shapes (hexagon and chevron), overlaid designs and three-dimensional surfaces (pillowed edges and linear folds) were added to the mix. Collections include: Marvel Pro by Atlas Concorde, Thrilled by Brix, Anima by Caesar, Marmoker by Casalgrande Padana, Marmi Bianchi by Coem, Infinity by Fondovalle, White Experience by Italgraniti, Evolutionmarble by Marazzi, Marmi Reali by Piemme, V-Stone by Settecento, Muse by Unicom Starker, Calacatta by Vallelunga and Marmi by Verde1999.
In terms of shapes, it was undoubtedly the year of the hexagon. A far cry from traditional hexagonal tiling, this new crop includes macro and micro sizes, rhombille tiling effects, irregular cutouts, and encaustic, concrete, marble, wood and brick designs. Collections include: Marvel Pro by Atlas Concorde, #collection01 by Casamood, Chicago by Cir, Cemento by Edilgres, Firenze by Fap, Infinity by Fondovalle, Emotive Trace by Imola, Nest by Lea, Creation by Marca Corona, Xgone by Mirage, Camelot by Monocibec, Core by Ornamenta, Rewind by Ragno, Apogeo14 by Tagina and Etro by Unica.
Customization is like catnip for architects and designers, and tile companies are responding with flexible systems for creating tailor-made compositions. Robert Dawson designed a ceramic tile series for Bardelli with a sinuous silkscreened pattern that can be freely rotated and randomly combined while Lavinia Modesti and Javier Deferrari developed a comprehensive line of hexagonal tiles for Mirage that can be studded into each other or configured into countless combinations. Two tile lines developed by HOK for Lea can also be used in a myriad of layouts while Ornamenta’s Salepepe tiles offer customizable geometry and a range of 33 colors designed to match Mapei’s Ultracolor Plus grouts. Also of note is Tagina who has a whole Atelier team dedicated to creating custom-made ceramic products for architects, even on a large commercial scale. Collections include: Arianna by Bardelli, Double by Imola, Pixel & Nest by Lea, Xgone by Mirage, Salepepe by Ornamenta and Dot-to-Dot by Tagina.
Innovative mosaics were everywhere – from playing with the dimensions of traditional penny, hexagon and brick mosaics to introducing completely new formats such as linear, diamond and organic shaped tesserae. Arty by Atlas Concorde, Visia by Ava, Alea by Brix, Effervescence by Cottoveneto, Boston by Fap, Mashup by Mirage, Dialoghi by Mosaico+, Fiber by Sicis, Details by Tagina and Vibration by Unica.
The inherent charm and beauty of encaustic cement tiles from the turn of the 19th century inspired many collections at the fair. Putting a modern spin on the classic tiles, some were overlaid onto concrete, terra cotta and stone designs while others presented crisp or fading patterns. Collections include: One by Caesar, Caterina Sforza by Cedir, Keramos by Century, Contempora by Cerdomus, Terra by Fap, Cementine Black & White by Fioranese, Toka by Fondovalle, Astra by La Fabbrica, My Mood by Panaria and Dust by Provenza.
Black & White
Although the entire color spectrum could be found at Cersaie, from dusty hues to vibrant pop colors, there was a significant return to classic black and white with added effects such as fading reliefs and op art graphics. Collections include: Eden by Ava, Fantasma by Brix, Tradizionale Stile by Ceramica Vietri Antico, Contours by Cisa, Lumina by Fap, Absolute by Lea, Handmade by Naxos, Filo by DesignTaleStudio, Flexible Technic by Sant’Agostino and Deco d’Antan by Tagina.
Coinciding with the romanticism of industrial spaces, many companies showcased metallized tiles exhibiting the sheen of platinum and bronze or the weathered effects of rusted steel and oxidized copper. Collections include: Fluido by Ariana, Fusion by Astor, Trace by Caesar, Steeltech by Casalgrande Padana, Metal by Cotto d’Este, Oxyde by Fioranese, Fusion by La Fabbrica, Officine by Mirage, Identity by Ornamenta, District by Refin and Etro by Unica.
The world’s forests are a continual source of inspiration for tile manufacturers who continue to explore new frontiers in ceramic wood. While some companies are inspired by the charming imperfections and character of rustic and recycled lumber, others are drawn to special techniques – such as charring – or adding a polished or glazed finish for a touch of sophistication and glamour. Collections include: Yaki by 41zero42, Dolphin by ABK, Bord by Atlas Concorde, Natura by Cerdisa, Essenze by Elios, Millelegni by Emilceramica, Urban_Wood by Fioranese, Dakota by Flaviker, Scrapwood by Italgraniti, Soul by Keope, Kauri by La Fabbrica, Essenze by LaFaenza, My Space by Novabell, Artwork by Ornamenta, Soft by Ricchetti, Teatro by Refin, BlendArt by Sant’Agostino and Acanto by Serenissima.
Italian manufacturers are the industry’s leading tastemakers but they are also pioneers in technology, moving tile beyond its traditional role as a floor and wall covering and into the realm of smart materials. ABK Group unveiled a revolutionary technology that adds elasticity to porcelain tile, ensuring perfectly flat installations, while Piemme launched a series of hi-tech tiles with embedded photovoltaic cells to create self-illuminating outdoor flooring. In terms of innovative formats, Florim showcased some of the largest thin slabs in the industry (5.5’x11′ and only 6mm thick) and Faetano introduced a new tile specially designed to wrap corners. Collections include: Auto-Leveling by ABK, Murales by Faetano, Oversize Magnum by Florim and Cottage by Piemme.
For more information on Cersaie, please visit www.cersaie.it/en/
hexagonal tiles in a plethora of sizes, colours and finishes
innovative mosaic tiles
comics and pop art made a strong showing this year