CERAMICLAND Culture and creativity in ceramics | by Maria Teresa Rubbiani

Ceramicland is putting forward a new vision for the ceramic cluster.

This manufacturing hub has evolved over the years and now operates in a globalised world. And it is precisely in this new world that Ceramicland aims to fulfil its potential.

Ceramicland intends to redefine this crucially important local manufacturing district by promoting a new role for the surrounding region. The Italian tile industry stands out for its distinctive combination of manufacturing, culture and history in which factors such as “uniqueness” and “authenticity” can be transformed into new and real competitive values. Behind the sector’s success lies a history of entrepreneurship and local community that has become a global reference model.

The Ceramicland initiative was launched in 2014 and has proved to be a highly successful public-private partnership. Local administrations, Confindustria Ceramica and local ceramic companies believed in the importance of promoting the cultural aspect of a manufacturing industry that is a key component of the region’s identity. These efforts continued in 2015 during Expo Milano and in partnership with the Ferrari and Pavarotti Land project. In 2016 Ceramicland launched an original initiative entitled “Lezioni d’Autore”. In practice these consisted of university lectures on the theme of design and business culture, held in a number of factories in the cluster with the aim of sending out a message that these places not only produce tiles but also foster culture and innovation.

Following these initial experiences, Ceramicland must take another strategic step forward in representing and promoting a new global leadership image for the sector. This will be done by launching the World Cluster of Ceramics with the support of the Emilia-Romagna regional government and in partnership with the municipality of Faenza, the cradle of artistic ceramics. These two areas have very complementary histories and together aim to attract international attention. The Cluster will be included in the regional project entitled Via Emilia Experience, a showcase of local fields of excellence on a par with sports cars, food, etc.

This new approach to promoting an awareness of the region’s leadership position also aims to explore new areas of development, in particular that of Industrial Tourism which combines manufacturing with local expertise.

This is a form of tourism that is already well established in Europe and the rest of the world and is now also emerging in Italy, with growing success. A tour of a cutting-edge tile facility can be alternated with a visit to a craft workshop or a food factory or with a cultural journey to explore the region’s still virtually unknown historic and artistic heritage.

In short, Ceramicland is a cultural initiative that aims to promote the region’s development through the involvement of companies, individuals, local administrations and the general public.