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Cersaie 2021 is back in person, with program of cultural and institutional initiatives

Cersaie, the pre-eminent international exhibition for the world of ceramics, bathroom furnishings, architecture and design, is back in the Bologna Exhibition Centre from 27 September to 1 October 2021. The 38th edition of the show, which features a packed program of initiatives organized with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation 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 of Bologna together with the 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 organize their participation in the safest and most effective way possible. In particular, current regulations require a Green Pass for admission to the show and the presence of two Covid testing points, one at the Costituzione Entrance and the other at the Nord Entrance.

This year’s edition of the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings fully occupies all 15 halls of the Bologna Exhibition Centre and is hosting 623 exhibitors, including 38% non-Italian companies from 28 different countries. This large number of exhibitors confirms the show’s enormous international appeal.

Following the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony in Piazza della Costituzione, Cersaie’s first appointment is the Inaugural Conference to be held in the Europauditorium of Palazzo dei Congressi on Monday 27 September at 11.00 a.m. Entitled “Sustainability, energy transition and international competitiveness of the Made in Italy brand”, the conference will see the participation of the Minister for Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti, the President of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Government Stefano Bonaccini, the Chairman of Unicredit Pier Carlo Padoan and the Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica Giovanni Savorani

The Contract Hall and Archincont(r)act, a new space devoted to networking between producers, architects and clients operating in the Real Estate and Contract sectors, including an area set aside for start-ups, will be inaugurated at 2.30 p.m. in Hall 18 in the presence of the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Manlio Di Stefano, the President of the Italian Trade Agency ITA Carlo Maria Ferro and Confindustria Ceramica’s Chairman for Promotional Activities Emilio Mussini

The Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference will begin at 6.30 p.m. in the splendid setting of Palazzo Re Enzo in Piazza del Nettuno in Bologna. Organized in collaboration with the Italian Trade Agency ITA, the now customary event will explore the current state and future prospects of the ceramic sector in the presence of the world’s journalists and media professionals. The event will see the participation of Roberto Luongo, CEO & Managing Director of the Italian Trade Agency; Vincenzo Colla, Minister for economic development, green economy, labour and vocational training, Regione Emilia-Romagna; Emilio Mussini, Chairman for Promotional Activities, Confindustria Ceramica; and Andrea Serri and Cristina Faedi from Confindustria Ceramica. The event will be moderated by Confindustria Ceramica Managing Director Armando Cafiero.

During 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 honorable mentions, and the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition will be presented to the best architectural projects carried out in North America using Italian ceramic tiles. This will be followed at 8.00 p.m. by the Cersaie Reception, an invitation-only event reserved for exhibitor companies, their guests and local and international institutions which will host the presentation ceremony for the Confindustria Ceramica Distributor Awards (presented to five distributors from France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Canada who have excelled in their relations with the Italian ceramic industry).

An exhibition organized as part of the “building, dwelling, thinking” program will explore projects carried out by a group of young architects under the supervision of Renzo Piano and named the G124 project after the senator-for-life’s office in Palazzo Giustiniani. The G124 working group consists of young architects tasked with conducting year-long studies into the concept of “mending” the suburbs. The exhibition G124 Renzo Piano: mending the suburbs. A journey through Italian cities, held in the Contract Hall (Hall 18), features a selection of the projects carried out since 2014 with a focus on those currently in progress in Modena, Padua and Palermo. The official inauguration of the exhibition, to be held at 10.00 a.m. on Tuesday 28 September, will be followed at 11.00 a.m. in the Palazzo dei Congressi by a conference devoted to G124 entitled “Beauty will save the world. One person at a time, but it will do it. The experience of G124 Renzo Piano ‘Mending the suburbs’”. Talks will be given by Matteo Agnoletto, lecturer at the Department of Architecture of the University of Bologna and tutor of G124 Bologna, Edoardo Narne, lecturer in Architectural and Urban Composition at the University of Padua, Edoardo Tresoldi, artist, and Stefano Mancuso, lecturer and director of the International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology at the University of Florence.

Alongside G124 Renzo Piano, Hall 18 is also hosting the exhibitions devoted to Ceramics and Design and the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, the architecture competitions organized by the Italian ceramic industry and Cersaie to honor the best architecture projects carried out using Italian ceramic tiles in Italy and North America. 

At 2.30 p.m. on 29 September, the Contract Hall (Hall 18) will serve as the venue for the presentation of the ADI awards: the ADI Ceramics and Bathroom Design Award, assigned to the most innovative Italian products in the ceramic tile and bathroom furnishing sectors, and the ADI Booth Design Award, for the exhibition stands that best promote the product and brand value of companies within the exhibition.

Cersaie 2021 is welcoming numerous well-known figures as part of the “building, dwelling, thinking” cultural program. These include two internationally-acclaimed female architects who will speak at 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 realize the importance of the tactile and sensorial aspect of architecture: the rediscovery of our bodies, colors, 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 their daily lives.

This will be followed at 3.00 p.m., again in the Palazzo dei Congressi, by a conference entitled “Small Talks Reloaded – To travel is to study”, with the participation of well-known Italian architecture firms: Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia AF517, asv3 officina di architettura, Bricolo Falsarella, CZA – Cino Zucchi Architetti, Diverserighestudio, Iotti + Pavarani Architetti, Labics, MAP studio, Orizzontale and TAMassociati.

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 a.m. in the Palazzo dei Congressi in the Bologna Exhibition Centre 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, Quotidiano Nazionale, Suite, The Plan and Ville&Casali

To accommodate the large number of events making up this year’s program, they are being held at three different times of day: Breakfast Time (10.00 a.m. – 10.45 a.m.), Appetizer Time (12.00 p.m. – 12.45 p.m.) and Coffee Time (3.00 p.m. – 3.45 p.m.). Additionally, the afternoon sessions are held in two different locations: the Media Village (located in the fairground’s Services Centre) devoted to conferences on topics relating to interior design, materials and bathroom furnishings, and the Sala Talks in the Contract Hall (Hall 18) where the discussions will focus 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 have the opportunity 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 Village on Thursday 30 September and Friday 1 October. It will maintain the now customary format in which architects from 13 leading Italian interior design magazines will give homeowners advice on home design and renovation projects. 

The subject of home improvement will also be addressed on Thursday 30 September at 4.30 p.m. in the Media Village (Services Centre) at a conference entitled “Superbonus and incentives for ceramics and bathroom furnishings” featuring the participation of Emilio Mussini, Vice Chairman of Confindustria Ceramica, Enrico Celin, Chairman of Angaisa, and Lucia Positano, Tax Director at PwC TLS Avvocati e Commercialisti, a leading legal and tax consulting firm which provides advisory services to sectors including heating, plumbing and ceramics. 

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