Coverings 2012 was on all accounts an uplifting success with attendee numbers registering in at a 19% increase over 2011. Also of note was the significant uptick in A&D visitors as the show drew the design trade in record numbers from across the region. Attendees were not disappointed by what they found in the Italian pavilion. With more than 50 brands on display, the Italian pavilion organized by Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) with support from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, had something for everyone from stylish to state-of-the-art and sustainable new collections.
The excitement radiated out from the center of the pavilion, where the industry presented the Ceramics of Italy 3000 sq. ft. exhibit designed by the young NY-based firm e+i studio. The design team’s project, which had been selected through an Architizer competition, was buzzing with activity from morning until show closing each day. Based on the idea of an Italian piazza, it featured innovative tile-clad mounds that sloped down into steps reminiscent of an Italian piazza. The brightly colored exhibit created a valley within the pavilion that channeled the flow of circulation and provided a large open area for attendees to gather on the show floor. The Italians also served authentic Italian refreshments while visitors lounged on the steps soaking it all in and recharging before heading out for more tile shopping!
From the floors and walls to the steps and countertops, nearly every surface in the booth was wrapped in Italian tile from manufacturers including: Atlas Concorde; Caesar Ceramiche; Emilceramica; Fioranese; Floorgres; Ceramiche Lea and Marazzi. Grout, nosing and cleaning products were also donated by Mapei, Profipas and Fila Industria Chimica, respectively. The floor tiles, set on a raised flooring system, featured impressive water-jet cutting by Stratos to achieve a colorful topography-inspired floor with the latest porcelains from Italy.
During the show, Ceramics of Italy also took time to recognize the 2012 winners of their annual design competition including Leo A Daly, RSP Architects and Fractal Construction. Afterwards, their booth was filled for a cocktail party to honor Stone Source as the winner of the annual North American Distributor Award.
Finally, Ceramics of Italy was a proud sponsor of the Coverings Installation Design Showcase, working with tvs design superstar, Foreman Rogers, on a stunning hotel bedroom installation chock-full of design ideas to cover an entire hotel suite from floor to wall in tile. Participating companies included: Coem, Lea, Marazzi, Naxos, Provenza, Mapei and Sicis. NTCA partner David Allen Company built this entire exhibit – in real time – on the show floor to demonstrate the highest level of installation excellence.