Five products presented at Cersaie 2019 are in competition for the Compasso d’Oro 2020 award | by Cristina Faedi

On 14 October, the volume  ADI Design Index 2019 and the corresponding exhibition of selected products were presented to a packed audience of experts, designers and entrepreneurs in the “Leonardo Da Vinci” National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.

A total of 226 products, services and design projects were included in the ADI Design Index 2019, the selection made each year by the ADI Permanent Design Observatory consisting of more than a hundred experts located throughout Italy. The Index is a point of reference in terms of project quality and covers sectors ranging from furniture to vehicles, from machine tools to communication and social design.

The 2019 selection is important not just in terms of the number of submissions (more than 970 this year compared to 746 in 2018) but because the selected products and projects will join the 172 selected last year to be submitted to the international jury of the 26th Compasso d’Oro award in 2020. Only these 398 products shortlisted for the ADI Design Index are eligible to take part in the next edition of the award.

Two aspects are particularly worthy of note.
The first is the sheer variety of the submissions. They include products representing the many different areas of expertise of the various Italian regions, each of which – while clearly an integral part of Made in Italy – has its own economy, its own approach to design and its own way of responding to users’ demands. The catalogue has a section entitled 1,300 kilometres of Italian design, which explores the forms that this design culture takes in different geographical areas through the words of the chairmen of the various ADI territorial delegations, the regional chapters that enable the association to closely monitor developments in design across the country.
The second characteristic is the growing attention to sustainability, a now well-established aspect of Italian design culture that is reflected in many of the selected products.

A total of 5 products showcased at Cersaie, the world’s most important exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings, were selected for publication in the ADI Design Index 2019.

1. JOINTED – Mosaico+ (design: Massimo Nadalini)
This collection marks a major departure from the modularity and repetitiveness of individual mosaics thanks to the possibility of arranging each individual element in five different ways: the 5 cm square chips (supplied in square sheets of width 30.8 cm which can be adapted according to requirements) are engraved with a graphic motif that can be used to create five different kinds of decoration. The random composition of the engraved mosaics creates a complex surface that varies according to the installation pattern of the individual sheets. Tone-on-tone or contrasting coloured grout can be chosen for a further level of customisation.

2. 20 PURE – Ceramica Fondovalle
This production project blends body components through the entire thickness of the slab to create stone-effect surfaces with continuous in-depth veins as though cut from a single block of material. The result is a slab with an identical finish on both the edge and the surface, making it ideal for use as a countertop or worktop without the need for further operations apart from cutting the holes for sinks or hobs. The material can be installed by marble and stone artisans in keeping with the project design.

3. SUNDAY – 41ZERO42
A tile collection conceived as an assortment of forms and figures inspired by concepts such as the sea in autumn, a landscape with unusual colours, or the solitary peace of locations far from the din of summer nights. With these richly diversified aesthetic qualities, the collection is ideal for personal interpretations of architectural surfaces in the colours Gesso, Salvia, Sabbia, Terra, Mattone and Notte.

4. OVER THE LIGHT – Target (design: Andrea Mattioli)
Porcelain slabs with textural patterns and photoluminescent motifs that are charged by artificial light or sunlight during the day and remain illuminated throughout the night. This unique material is ideal for creating decorative surfaces for interiors, exteriors or ventilated façades. The luminescent material is applied to the slabs in the form of a glaze and fired at 830°C and has an unlimited lifetime. This technique can be used to create any decorative motif or to print photographs. The slabs can also be installed on floors to create pathways that are visible at night.

5. SIMPLE – Rubinetterie Stella (design: Benedini & Partner)
A virtual configuration and prototyping system that enables architects, designers and end users to design their own taps based on a combination of modular archetypes. The guided procedure uses Industry 4.0 computer technologies and a platform that can be accessed via web ( or via app. The project covers all bathroom solutions, including washbasin, shower and bath, with a choice of the type of tap (classic 3 hole, single-lever or recessed). Each creation reflects customers’ desires in every detail, breaking away from the clichéd marketing formula of “new year = new collection”. The customer plays an active role in the design process, making each product unique and fully customisable.

This is a very important result for Cersaie, testifying to the positive synergies that have been established between creativity and industry throughout its history and in particular during its more than 6-year partnership with ADI and the ADI Emilia-Romagna Observatory.

The chairwoman of ADI Emilia-Romagna, Valentina Downey, commented: “This region is also home to numerous manufacturing districts spanning sectors such as agri-food, ceramics, automotive, packaging, mechatronics and electromedical, not to mention tourism and hospitality. Design gives a boost to the regional system and encourages it to take on new ideas. It contributes by creating products but also by forging synergies between different production sectors, generating value throughout the supply chain that is mapped each year by the ADI delegation.”

Given these basic concepts, ADI sees Cersaie as a splendid source of new products in the field of ceramic tiles, sanitaryware and taps.
Moreover, the event is increasingly establishing itself as the leading international showcase of innovation and contemporary living trends, a unique opportunity to keep up-to-date with the latest news and new products. Indeed, excellence and innovation were much in evidence at Cersaie 2019 which ended on 27 September.

A selection of products selected for the ADI Design Index 2019, including the Mosaico+ tile system, were displayed in the exhibition held until 20 October in the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology in Via San Vittore 21 in Milan.
The exhibition will continue at the Casa dell’Architettura in Rome from 22 to 26 November.

November 2019