Cersaie Upstairs, a new thematic walkway hosting contract design firms | by Sara Seghedoni
This year’s Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings to be held in Bologna from 26 to 30 September, will feature an additional level with new spaces and functions. One of the new aspects of the 39th show will be Cersaie Upstairs, an upper-floor walkway connecting the historic exhibition halls with the newly built pavilions. The entrance to the walkway will be via the external escalators adjacent to Hall 19/20, from where it will extend to Gallery 21/22 and Gallery 25/26. This new itinerary will offer visitors an exciting new sensorial, relational and cultural experience along with the chance to take part in recreational and culinary activities. The new space is inspired by the theme of the elements from which ceramic products are made: air, water, earth and fire.
Gallery 21/22 will host the third edition of Archincont(r)act, the exhibition aimed at the world of architecture and contract design which this year will see the participation of 6 major architecture firms (Lombardini 22, Pininfarina, One Works, Noa*, Iosa Ghini Associati-IGA and Handel Architects). Each of these firms will be assigned a portal where visitors will have the chance to explore the firm’s projects and philosophy through augmented reality or virtual reality experiences curated by Vection Technologies. The atmospheric location inspired by air and water will be based on the concept of the archaeological site of Stonehenge. Each firm will also have the opportunity to give a presentation on the theme of sustainability.
On Monday 26 September at 4.00 p.m., the principal of Handel Architects, Antonio Onofrio, will speak about sustainable large-scale design. On Tuesday 27 September at 10.30 a.m., Alessandro Longo, Senior Architect at Lombardini22, and Elena Stoppioni, President of Save The Planet and ESG Senior Consultant at Lombardini22, will discuss the theme of “Project, Society, Energy”. Next at 12.00 p.m., Ilaria Pizzoferrato, a Trend expert, Fashion & Image consultant and exclusive agent for Italy of Carlin Creative Trend Bureau, will talk about new sobriety and collaborative equity: the different habitat trends on the horizon for 2024. The final meeting of the day will be at 4.00 p.m. with Leonardo Cavalli, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of One Works, and will be entitled “Recognising the value of existing assets”. On Wednesday 28 September, Massimo Iosa Ghini, founder of Iosa Ghini Associati, will talk about “Nomadic Living”. On Thursday 29 September at 10.30 a.m. Stefan Rier, architect and Noa* Founder, will discuss “Sustainability: beyond the thermal coefficient”. This will be followed at 4.00 p.m. by a talk entitled “Beauty + Technology = Impact” given by Gianni Giuffrida, Senior Design Manager & Head of Innovation at Pininfarina.
After air and water, the elements of earth and fire will take centre stage in Gallery 25/26. In a space of about 1,200 square metres, visitors will be immersed in a warm and relaxing atmosphere inspired by the two natural elements. The use of video mapping on the floor will further enhance the sensorial experience.
A VIP lounge will welcome the more than 200 international delegations of architecture firms and contract design professionals invited this year. This area will bring together the traditional commercial and networking aspects of B2B activities with a more emotional and sensorial experience.
But Cersaie Upstairs will also be the venue for a unique culinary experience. One of the two Cersaie Upstairs refreshment points located in the mezzanine between Hall 19 and Hall 20 will be run by the Bologna-based association Tour-Tlen, which will offer visitors the chance to taste traditional Bolognese tortellini (covered by the Municipal Designation of Origin label) as well as versions of the famous local speciality re-elaborated by the association’s chefs. Also available for tasting will be a specially selected mortadella (Mortadella Selezione Tourtlen) produced as a collaboration between Felsineo and Tour-Tlen’s chefs.