At the Café della Stampa at Cersaie, the designer discussed ceramics for contemporary architecture with Gilda Bojardi, editor of Interni, and Patrizia Catalano, journalist

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."

At this link the full video of the talk.

Photos: Giuseppe Suma