Wall Art by Naxos.

Cersaie, the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, continues to grow in scope and size at the Bologna Fairgrounds in Italy. Last year’s 20th anniversary show broke all previous attendance records, registering an increase of 16.8 percent in foreign visitors. The 2003 event, scheduled to take place Sept. 30 through Oct. 5, will present the newest products of 1,061 exhibitors from 30 countries. This year, nearly 100,000 buyers are expected to attend the show, which highlights the latest in ceramic tile fashion and design.

Cersaie 2003 will include a design symposium entitled Markitecture -- Value in Architecture, organized in conjunction with SAIE, the international exhibition of building technology that takes place in Bologna, Oct. 15 through 19. Markitecture will explore 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, will feature the work of leading international designers over the past 30 years, with particular attention paid to the design of museums, libraries and cultural institutions.

A sister exhibit entitled Aria Acqua Fuoco Terra (Air, Water, Fire, and Earth), by curator Vittoria Coen of the International Ceramic Museum in Faenza, will highlight the work of artists from the 20th century avant-garde to today, including Fausto Melotti, Lucio Fontana, Arman, and Ontani

Also planned is an exhibit at the Galleria di Arte Moderna of student work from the Domus Academy Exercises in Architecture Seminar, which grew out of last year’s Involucri project. The exhibition, organized by Assopiastrelle and Domus Academy, will feature 17 of the finest projects generated by the 52 progressive, young architects and designers who participated in the seminar.

Under the guidance of some of the most highly regarded figures in contemporary architecture and design -- including Massimo Iosa Ghini, Hani Rashid, Andrea Branzi, Dante Donegani, and Giovanni Lauda -- these projects highlight not only the aesthetic and structural function of tile, but also the innovative role tile can play in urban design and residential remodeling as well as the relationship between public and domestic spaces.

Internationally renowned designer Denis Santachiara joins Ettore Sottsass (2000), Alessandro Mendini (2001), and Massimo Iosa Ghini (2002) in the roster of design luminaries who have lent their unique vision to the show with the creation of the Cersaie poster. The 2003 poster embraces Cersaie’s philosophy of marrying traditionalism with cutting-edge design.

Pictured below is a sampling of some of the products that will take the spotlight in Bologna. To obtain more information on Cersaie 2003, visit www.cersaie.it or www.italiatiles.com on the Internet.

I Legni by Eco Ceramica is a contemporary interpretation of ancient, hand-crafted, wood-fired terracotta tiles developed to emulate the effects and finishes found in the floors of renaissance villas, country houses and farm houses across Italy. Available in several sizes and with several decorated pieces, the class PEI 5 glazed porcelain tiles are for interior or exterior residential and commercial floor installations.

Refin’s Forum Collection features chipped-effect edges that seem irregular, giving the feeling of rough stone. The fully vitrified stoneware tiles are available in four colors in sizes of 50-by-50 cm, 33.3-by-33.3 cm, 16.5-by-16.5 cm, and 8-by-16.5 cm.

Tebas by Gaya Fores is a mosaic wall tile collection in an 8-by-8-inch format that is complemented by Colorado, a 13-by-13-inch glazed porcelain floor tile.

Another new ceramic tile on display at Cersaie will be Cotto Veneto’s Luci d’Oriente, the retangular tile bording the smaller, square Echi D’Oriente tiles. It is highly glazed, and its shiny surface interplays with the decorative glass mosaics of Echi D’Oriente to create a concert of light and color

One of the exciting new products on display at Cersaie 2003 will be Marca Corona’s Glossy residential tile collection, which is available in six colors in a 20-by-20-cm format and features coordinated wall and single-fired floor tiles. The product range is complemented by new pastel colors, glass and steel accents, and multicolored mesh-mounted mosaics for curved surfaces.

Pietre Native (Native Stones) is the new line of full-body porcelain stoneware by Casalgrande-Padana. This line is presented in a wide range of colors and shapes, and has the physical qualities of original matte stones from all over the world. It is available in both matte and polished finishes in 12-by-12-inch, 12-by-24-inch, and 16- and 6-inch-square formats.

Del Conca’s Cervinia is a stone-look porcelain tile with looping inserts interspersed with metallic accents running throughout. The series is available in a wide range of colors and sizes.

Navarti’s new Millenium red-body floor tile series features a marbled finish, and is available in 13-by-13-inch and 17 3/4 -by-17 3/4-inch sizes in a wide range of colors. The series is offered in both irregular and straight border, and one special option with cut corners.