One of the internationally known and appreciated Italian architects and designers, Massimo Iosa Ghini took part in the 1980s in the intellectual avant-garde that marked that historical moment, founding the cultural movement Bolidismo and participating in Ettore Sottsass's Memphis group. Thirty-three years ago he set up the Iosa Ghini Associati studio, now active in Bologna, Milan and Miami.
For a ceramic product culture
At the Cafè della Stampa at Cersaie, Interni celebrated ceramics through the personality of Iosa Ghini: the architect and designer painted an authoritative and precise portrait of him, as a promoter of a culture of ceramic products, even before the commercial product itself, and as an actor of avant-garde research and experimentation expressed over the years by the numerous installations bearing his signature that animated the events of Interni at the FuoriSalone in Milan.
A controversial material
For Iosa Ghini, ceramics is a controversial material, characterised by an energy-consuming dimension, nowadays more sensitive than ever, compensated by an enviable durability; by a technology that has brought the thickness of tiles and slabs from 1 cm to 4/6 mm with considerable energy savings in the production phase and a significant reduction in raw materials (up to 60%); by an aesthetic yield that may or may not be liked: "to a ceramic that imitates materials (wood or marble effect, for example) I prefer a ceramic that merely evokes them," he explains.
From surface finish to material
Ceramic is then "a chameleon-like material: on a well-made base that is the same for every tile or slab, the final aesthetic is made multifaceted by digital printing to 3D printing...," he continues. "But why do I insist on calling ceramics a material? Because nowadays ceramics is no longer a simple finish, a mere surface, a printed support: full-body colouring has sanctioned its entrance among real materials, characterised by consistency and solidity. It is no longer just a decoration, it has a body, a thickness, a soul. It sounds trivial, but it is an achievement."