Ceramics, a versatile and multipurpose substance can create forms, accommodate light and colour and communicate ideas. The various stalls and exhibits at Cersaie offered visitors an overview of this material’s potential through the expressive capabilities of manufacturers and artisans from across the world.
Stalls saw everything from coffee-cup shaped basins to Bisazza’s ingeniously designed sinks with built-in lamps. The Bisazza area also had on display Marcel Wanders’ curvaceously sexy bathtub with blood-red fittings. Hansgrohe unveiled Philippe Starck’s beautiful organic bath collection, easily one of my favourites at Cersaie. But a big high-five for India was Somany Tiles, who made India’s debut at Cersaie.
This year the theme ‘Building, Dwelling, Thinking’ (which was stirred-up by the recession), encouraged future imagination by reflecting the present and studying the past. The ‘Young Architects Scrape the Sky’ competition mirrored that sentiment beautifully and we saw eight winning young designers display visually striking models of ingenuity.
Cersaie also hosted a series of conferences and seminars with speakers from a range of backgrounds (including architecture), discussing chosen themes from various standpoints. The Design Goes Sci-Fi lecture was truly riveting with Italian veteran designer Cini Boeri (she designed the iconic ‘Ghost’ chair) and American sci-fi author, science geek and futuristic material pioneer Bruce Sterling go head-to-head. Japanese Architect Shigeru Ban who talked about his ‘magical’ paper tube structures and his work done in areas afflicted by natural disasters, also saw a house-full audience sitting in rapt attention.