Attendees at the entrance of Cersaie 2003 stroll into the show.

Cersaie 2004, the 22nd international exhibition of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings, will take place Sept. 28 through Oct. 3 in Bologna, Italy. This year's show will be larger than the 2003 edition and will host a greater number of exhibitors than ever before. More than 100,000 buyers are expected this year and, to accommodate the ever-growing numbers, the Bologna exhibition center will be offering exhibitors the use of a new two-level hall (16 and 18) located alongside the recently opened hall 19 - 20.

The new hall, created especially for Cersaie 2004, was designed by the architectural firm Pierluigi Cerri & Associati of Milan, and represents a further step forward in the overall modernization plan for the entire facility by BolognaFiere. The new hall encompasses a total area of 28,000-square meters and includes large multifunctional areas as well as a restaurant. This extra exhibit space is already fully booked, demonstrating just how eagerly this event is anticipated by both Italian and foreign companies.

Giorgio Guazzaloca, mayor of Bologna, cuts the ribbon at the opening of Cersaie 2003.

Markitecture Design Symposium returns

Cersaie 2004 will include the now annual design symposium "Markitecture -- Value in Architecture." Last year, Markitecture explored the connection between Bologna as a cultural center for architecture and design, and the Bologna Fairgrounds as a center for commercial and professional innovation in the world of construction. The central exhibition, Architetture e Culture, featured the work of leading international designers from the past 30 years, with particular attention paid to the design of museums, libraries and cultural institutions.

Martina Corgnati speaking at the Ceramic Tiles of Italy International Press Conference of Cersaie 2003.
In addition, the show will feature a conference on economics featuring several of Italy's most prominent figures in the field, including Luca Montezemolo, the recently appointed head of Confindustria, Italy's manufacturers' association. Montezemolo, who has also been the head of Ferrari for the past 13 years, will be a noteworthy addition as he has been profiled a great deal in the news since his designation as chairman of Fiat.

The conference will be moderated by Franco Vantaggi, the director general of Assopiastrelle, and will also include: Sergio Cofferati, the mayor of Bologna; Adolfo Urso, the vice minister of production with the delegation of foreign trade; and Sergio Sassi, the president of Assopiastrelle.

The Ceramic Tiles of Italy International Press Conference at Cersaie 2003. Pictured (from left) are Enzo Mularoni, Sergio Sassi, Ugo Calzoni, and Franco Vantaggi.

Cersaie 2004 poster designed by American architect

Joining the ranks of internationally renowned designers who have turned their talents to the annual re-creation of the Cersaie poster -- such as Ettore Sottsass (2000), Alessandro Mendini (2001), Massimo Iosa Ghini (2002) Denis Santachiara (2003) -- American architect Hani Rashid is the fifth designer (and first American) to develop a unique image for this year's poster. Rashid envisions ceramic tiles as a bridge between the works of man and the perfection of natural materials, linking the real space of nature with the virtual space of architecture.

"Architecture, art and design are all forms of dialogue with nature and its dynamic and chaotic forces," explains Rashid. "The essence of ceramic tiles is to reconcile the works of man with the material perfection of nature. Constant efforts to imagine, design and create are driven by a desire to attain eternal beauty, which -- within certain limits -- is represented by nature.

Daniel Libeskind discusses the architecture of memory during a Markitecture event at Cersaie 2003.
"Today, these efforts are focused on precision, elegance, beauty, and -- above all --perfection. In this sense, the works of man are nothing other than an attempt to traverse the ambiguous space between reality and virtuality."

Additional information about Cersaie is available on the Internet at and