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Cersaie underlines its international leadership

September 2021

Back as an in-person event this year, Cersaie 2021 is reaffirming its international leadership with a packed programme of cultural and institutional initiatives.

The world’s top tile show is returning to the Bologna Exhibition Centre from 27th  September to 1st  October 2021.  The 38th edition of the show, which features a packed programme of initiatives organised with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Trade Agency ITA, marks the return of the exhibition as an in-person event in compliance with the strictest health and safety protocols. With this in mind, Cersaie and the city and regional institutions held an event in early July to present "Bologna Together with Cersaie", a digital poster illustrating all the activities and services offered to Italian and international visitors to help them organise their participation in the safest and most effective way possible. In particular, current regulations require a Green Pass for admission to the show.

This year’s edition of the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings occupies all 15 halls of the Bologna Exhibition Centre and is hosting around 600 exhibitors, including 41% non-Italian companies from 26 different countries.

Following the official opening of Cersaie with the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony held in Piazza della Costituzione, the first appointment in the programme is the Economic Conference to be held in the Europauditorium of Palazzo dei Congressi on Monday 27 September at 11:00 am in the presence of representatives of the main local and national institutions. At 2:30 pm, Hall 18 will see the official opening of the Contract Hall and Archincont(r)act, a new space devoted to networking between producers and architecture firms and their clients in the real estate and contract sectors.

The Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference, due to be held at 6:00 pm in the splendid setting of Palazzo Re Enzo in Piazza del Nettuno in Bologna, will explore the current state and future prospects of the ceramic sector in the presence of the world’s journalists and media professionals. In the second part of the International Press Conference, the 24th Ceramics of Italy Journalism Award will be presented to the author of the best article on Cersaie and the Italian ceramic industry published in a foreign magazine along with three honourable mentions. Next, the Confindustria Ceramica Distributor Awards will be presented to five distributors (from France, Germany, Israel, Italy and North America) who have excelled in their dealings with the Italian ceramic industry.

An exhibition organised as part of the “building, dwelling, thinking” programme will explore projects carried out by a group of young architects under the supervision of Renzo Piano. Named G124 after the senator-for-life’s office in Palazzo Giustiniani, the working group consists of young architects tasked with conducting studies into the concept of “mending” the suburbs. The exhibition will present a selection of projects carried out since 2014 with a focus on those currently in progress in Modena, Padua and Palermo.

Cersaie 2021 is welcoming numerous well-known figures in the context of the “building, dwelling, thinking” cultural programme. These include two internationally acclaimed female architects who will speak a conference moderated by architecture historian Professor Fulvio Irace and entitled “Sensitive Architecture”, which will be held on Thursday 30 September at 11.00 am in the Palazzo dei Congressi in the Bologna Exhibition Centre. Following the long months of lockdown and enforced isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have come to realise the importance of the tactile and sensorial aspect of architecture: the rediscovery of our bodies, colours, symbols and light. Through a description of their latest projects, Odile Decq and Benedetta Tagliabue will help participants discover the importance of these aspects in our daily lives.

This will be followed at 3:00 pm, again in the Palazzo dei Congressi, by a conference entitled “Small Talks Reloaded - To travel is to study”, with the participation of 11 well-known Italian architecture firms: Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia AF517, asv3 officina di architettura, Bricolo e Falsarella, CZA - Cino Zucchi Architetti, Diverserighestudio, Iotti + Pavarani Architetti, Labics, MAP studio, Orizzontale, TAMassociati e Werner Tscholl.

Cersaie’s Keynote Lecture will once again be given by a Pritzker Prize laureate. This year’s guest speaker is Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who will give a talk on Friday 1 October 2021 at 11:00 am in the Palazzo dei Congressi at BolognaFiere following an introduction by architecture historian Professor Francesco Dal Co.

This year the Press Cafés will see the participation of 18 leading Italian publishers: Abitare, AD Architectural Digest, Around Water, Chiesa Oggi, DDN – Design Diffusion News, Domus, Elle Decor Italia, IFDM, Il Bagno Oggi e Domani, Interni, l’Arca International, Design di Repubblica, NiiProgetti, Platform, QN, Suite, The Plan and Ville&Casali.

To accommodate such a large number of events, they are being held at three different times of day: Breakfast Time (10:00 am – 10:45 am), Appetizer Time (12:00 pm – 12:45 pm) and Coffee Time (3:00 pm – 3:45 pm). The afternoon sessions are being held in two different locations: the Media Centre (located in the fairground’s Services Centre) devoted to conferences on topics related to interior design, materials and bathroom furnishings, and the Talks Room in the Contract Hall (Hall 18) featuring discussions on architecture and real estate.

Once again this year, Cersaie is hosting "Tiling Town", the meeting place for Italian and international tile laying professionals located in Hall 32 close to the Piazza Costituzione entrance. On each of the five days of Cersaie, visitors to the ninth edition of Tiling Town will have the chance to attend installation showcases given by expert tile layers focusing on outdoor spaces and the installation of large slabs.

"Cersaie Designs Your Home", also now in its 9th edition, will be held in the Media Centre on Thursday 30 September and Friday 1 October. It will maintain the now customary format in which architects from 12 leading Italian interior design magazines will give homeowners advice on home design and renovation projects.

Also on the subject of home renovation, a major conference will be devoted to the Superbonus scheme and other incentives for the purchase of ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings. The conference will be held on Thursday 30 September at 4:30 pm in the Media Centre (Services Centre) together with representatives of Confindustria Ceramica, Angaisa (the National Association of plumbing, air conditioning and ceramic tile distributors) and PwC TLS, a leading consulting firm which also operates in this sector.

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