Between October 5 and 8, visitors at the Spanish paviliion at the exhibition, Made Expo, in Milan, were lost in admiration on spotting a huge exhibition with softly organic contours and a ceramic finish. Called Fluidity, this was made by combining ceramic pieces by five Spanish companies: Tau Céramica, Ceracasa, Natucer, Cerámica Decorativa and Cerámica Mayor, all brought together by Valencian architect José Ramón Tramoyeres. It was built by the architects Green Geometries Laboratory (GGlab) and Paulo Flores in Manolo Garcia’s workshop for making Valencia’s traditional fallas (gigantic papier-maché figures).
Accompanied by the slogan ‘Fluidity. Ceramics – a material for the city of the future’, the exhibition, which was put on by Tile of Spain, the Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ association, wants to investigate the possibility of greater interaction between public and private spaces, between interior and exterior spaces, of rendering urban spaces more dynamic and bringing a city into closer contact with its inhabitants.
Fluidity exploits the qualities of ceramics to meet just that need, creating urban surfaces with two skins: an external skin, with pieces that purify the air, and an inner one made of tubes of extruded ceramic.
Each company which has supplied materials to the project has done so by focusing on the specific characteristics of one of its products. The ceramic contributed by Ceracasa – called Bionictile – actively helps to decontaminate the air, thanks to a coating which transforms nitrogen oxide into nitrates. Cerámica Decorativa provided its Soho Interiors series – pieces which have a glossy finish and are carved. Meanwhile, Cerámica Mayor chose its design Baguette, a series of 1.8m cylinders which varies how much light enters them and can be used to hide objects from view. Bamboo – a highly versatile cylindrical porcelain tube which mimics the plant it’s named after – was Natucer’s original offering. Finally, Tau Cerámica’s contribution was its collection called Lama – ceramic panels redolent of a wood finish.
Report: Ceramic trends in 2011