Just a few figures are necessary to give an idea of the importance and scope of Cersaie.
A simple set of data is enough to explain what one of the most important trade fairs for international architecture has been representing for 35 years.
In fact, the history of Cersaie begins in 1983 with the aim of offering manufacturers and distributors of ceramics a place to meet and establish business relationships.
Despite that period being difficult for the sector, the first edition of the Bolognese event managed to attract the attention of 80 thousand visitors.
A significant piece of information that highlights, straight from the beginning, the important mission: becoming a privileged international showcase to present products and share ideas and solutions for contemporary design.
Today, with its over 111 thousand visitors, Cersaie confirms its leadership in the field of trade fairs of the sector and establishes itself as reference point for architects and designers coming from all over the world.
By recalling the 35 years of Cersaie, one makes a journey through the recent history of international architecture: despite it being focused basically on sales, Cersaie has been fertile ground for the creativity and genius of some of the most important creative minds of all times.
This has been made possible by implementing many initiatives and cultural events, by organising conferences with a lectures entrusted to professionals with the calibre of Renzo Piano, David Childs, Hans Hollein, Kazujo Sejima, Glenn Murcutt, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Rafael Moneo, James Stirling, Odile Decq, Norman Foster, Shigeru Ban, Álvaro Siza, Tom Mayne and Massimiliano Fuskas. Cersaie has also made this possible by directly and actively involving the public by means of design projects that have led, for instance, to the poster designed by Ettore Sottsass, three times winner of the prestigious Compasso d’Oro award, and by the winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, Toyo Ito.
It was in the year 2000 that posters were entrusted to professionals and young blood in the field of design: Ettore Sottsass, founding member of the Memphis group, promoted the optimistic approach of the new millennium by means of the “convergence of five fluctuating levels in a context void of time and references, coming together to create a dimension which includes the past and leads to the future”.
Seven years later, for the 25th anniversary of the exhibition, Toyo Ito offered his interpretation of contemporary architecture and of its capacity to imitate natural systems, in juxtaposition with grids that have ruled space throughout the 20th century.
The year after, the intention of Thom Mayne was to enhance innovation of the ceramics sector by dedicating his poster to the fluidity of shapes.
Since 2010, the exhibition’s poster has been entrusted to new talents of Italian design, by means of competitions and initiatives involving some of the most important national training institutes. This choice has led to the creation of posters with a strong communication value, such as the one designed in 2014 by the young designer Valentina Algeri, which celebrates the link between humans and ceramics.
By studying the communication and promotional techniques adopted by the Trade Fair, at the care of Edi.Cer., evolution of ceramics over the years becomes evident. Each professional entrusted with development of the poster has in fact managed to represent the role of solutions for wall and floor tiling in the architectural panorama of a certain timespan.
With their help, Cersaie has told the story of 35 years of contemporary ceramics, of leading companies of the sector and of protagonists of architecture on a worldwide level. This story is full of enthralling chapters and of innovation. The story continues every day and is nurtured by creativity and enterprising spirit. Once again, we expect to play a leading role in this story next year.