Interviews

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Working with the sun, the light and the wind

Interview with Elisabetta Trezzani - RPBW partner

Elisabetta Trezzani has always prioritised environmental protection in her design projects. During the years she has spent working at the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, she has explored the theme of sustainability, searching constantly for new solutions tailored to the specific needs of the building and its context

Making the customer experience memorable and enjoyable is paramount

Interview with Alisa Padron - Sales Manager Padron Flooring

For over four decades, Padron Flooring has been a key player and purveyor of Italian tile in the industry, offering a wide assortment of high-end products from Italian producers in its showroom.

Raising the bar of architectural practice

Interview with Fosbury Architecture

Fosbury Architecture, the young collective tasked with curating the Italian Pavilion at the 2023 Biennale entitled “Spaziale: Everyone Belongs to Everyone Else”, talk about their unique approach to architecture, which aims to expand the boundaries of the discipline, redefine its role and rethink its processes in response to current challenges

The name that connects Italian ceramic tiles to Norway

Interview with Tommy Ivesdal - Modena Fliser

Founded in 1986 in Kristiansand as an independent company with a showroom in the south of Norway, Modena Fliser today is part of Modena Gruppen, which boasts 17 showrooms and achieved a turnover of around €45 million in 2022

Following traces

Interview with Westway Architects

Attention to the context, a mindful approach to the location and a thoughtful selection of materials are the guiding principles behind Westway Architects’ design choices. These are particularly evident in a project in Ethiopia where they made extensive use of Italian ceramic tiles

Poland loves the quality and design of Italian ceramic tiles

Interview with Justyna Meresińska - shareholder Mera Sp. z.o.o

Mera Sp. z.o.o, a family-owned Polish company founded in 1991, has become a major player in the building materials and interior furnishing market with showrooms that offer an extensive range of premium Italian ceramic products. Its enduring success is founded on a blend of passion, entrepreneurial drive, dedication and expertise

The “hic et nunc” approach

Interview with Luca De Bona e Dario De Meo - studio Debonademeo

Debonademeo’s design ideas arise from overlapping fragments of journeys and visions. They are the culmination of a process that begins with a question and searches for answers in the context, in society, in details. Every project emerges from the “hic et nunc”

Texas loves excellence

Interview with Stuart Rae - president Thorntree Slate

Thorntree Slate was established in Houston in 1980 and for the first 20 years carried only natural stone. In 2000 the company shifted to promoting the latest ceramic tile technology and evolved into a large importer and distributor of the finest Italian porcelain.

Multiscalar strategies

Interview with Nina Artioli, Alessandra Glorialanza, Eliana Saracino - TSPOON

TSPOON, a Rome-based architecture practice founded by Nina Artioli, Alessandra Glorialanza and Eliana Saracino, operates at all scales with a single goal: to establish points of reference that give recognisability and identity to a project and allow it to evolve without losing its effectiveness.

La Nova Tile Showroom

A Houston showroom bringing Italian design & excellence to Texas

Interview with Miguelina Veras - Designer Sales Consultant La Nova Tile

With a focus on sourcing the best and latest ceramic offerings from Europe, La Nova Tile has become a top distributor of contemporary, sustainably-made tile products in the south-central region of the U.S.

Arch. Carlo Donati

Crossings

Interview with Carlo Donati

In his projects, Carlo Donati conducts a kind of spatial research based on colour balances, material contrasts and a skilful use of natural and artificial light

Tony's Imported Marble & Tile showroom

An Italian-American Family-Run Tile Business Returns Home

Interview with Francesco Saia - Tony's Imported Marble & Tile Sales Associate

Since its founding in 1978 by Anthony Saia Sr, Tony's Imported Marble & Tile has become a thriving multi-generational business and key distributor of ceramic and porcelain tiles in the New England area. The company prides itself on its Italian roots and eagerly offers a wide assortment of high-end Italian ceramic and porcelain products in its showroom.

Exciting everyday

Interview with Avi Shitrit - CEO OZ Ceramica

This is the motto of Oz Ceramica, founded in Jerusalem in 1998 by Shlomi Oz and Avi Shitrit. “We want our customers to feel a sense of excitement every time they enter their homes, offices or any other location where our materials have been supplied. Essentially, we make dreams come true!” said Avi Shitrit, who is also the company’s CEO.

Giacomo Garziano

The architect and the algorithm

Interview with Giacomo Garziano - GG-loop

L’approccio innovativo all’architettura di Giacomo Garziano, fondatore dello studio GG-loop di Amsterdam, genera progetti multisensoriali che, con l’intelligenza artificiale, diventano un'estensione organica del fruitore.

The feel-good effect of Made in Italy

Interview with Sam Giunta - Managing Director Classic Ceramics Pty Ltd

A passionate promoter of his Italian heritage, Sam Giunta founded Classic Ceramics (Importers) Pty Ltd in 1972 following his first visit to Saie in Bologna the previous year. Today his company has a staff of more than 50 people nationally with offices, showrooms and warehousing in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

ARASSOCIATI partner

A milanese education

Interview with Marco Brandolisio, Giovanni Da Pozzo, Massimo Scheurer and Michele Tadini - ARASSOCIATI

When working in historic city centres, Milan-based practice Arassociati aims to respect the existing urban fabric without mimicry, while in the suburbs they devote special attention to the landscape.

Studio RIOS

Holistic design

Interview with CarloMaria Ciampoli, Sebastian Salvadò, Simone Lapenta - RIOS

The Los Angeles-based international architecture and design firm RIOS spoke to us about their integrated and multi-scale design vision that focuses on people's well-being.

Soho Studio NY

Italian manufacturers, always ahead of the curve

Interview with Eli Mechlovitz - CEO Soho Studio

Distributing tiles from over 40 Italian manufacturers, since 2005 Soho Studio has established itself as a top leader in design and distributor of high-quality materials in the North American Market

Alfonso Femia

Like Moby Dick

Interview with Alfonso Femia - Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia

For Atelier(s) Alfonso Femia, “thinking in terms of ceramic material” means emphasising its narrative capacity in relation to place, time and function

Francis Kéré (© Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk)

The ethics of building in Burkina Faso

Interview with Diébédo Francis Kéré

Keynote speaker at Cersaie 2017, Diébédo Francis Kéré was awarded the most prominent international award in architecture. Among the reasons for the award, the aptitude demonstrated in "finding brilliant, stimulating and revolutionary ways" to some of the crucial questions of contemporary architecture.

Francesca Singer (Foto: Filippo Fortis 2020

Interconnecting cocoons

Interview with Francesca Singer - SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa

Designed by the Japanese firm SANAA as part of a project to regenerate a site formerly occupied by a dairy collective, the new Bocconi University campus in Milan communicates with the city through a series of permeable and lightweight giant cocoons

A success story in Haifa

Interview with Moshe Topolski - Topolski Rezef

Israeli market leader Topolski Rezef was the winner of the 2021 Confindustria Ceramica Distributor Award

Highrise Qatar

Pursuing tomorrow’s vision

Interview with Shaji N Nair - Managing Director Highrise Qatar

Founded with the mission of supplying high-quality construction products in Qatar, Highrise Qatar has been playing an important role in the recent “golden age of construction” which continues amid work for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Luis Pedro Silva (© Gilson Fernandes)

The collective importance of architecture

Interview with Luís Pedro Silva

What is the state of architecture in Portugal today? It has maintained a substantial degree of precision and rigour but is losing much of its artisanal character, believes architect Luís Pedro Silva, founder of the practice Luís Pedro Silva Arquitecto Lda and a professor at the Porto School of Architecture FAUP since 2000.

The power of trendsetting and cultivating relationships

Interview with George Gal - Senior Vice President Olympia Tile

Since it was founded in 1956, Olympia Tile has established itself as an international leader in the distribution of ceramic tile products across North America

Carlo Alberto Maggiore

Supermarket architecture

Interview with Carlo Alberto Maggiore

Following his experience working with Ignazio Gardella on the Esselunga supermarket projects, Carlo Alberto Maggiore continued to modernise the architectural image of these retail spaces with his design for the new Migross supermarket chain’s flagship store in Bozzolo in the province of Mantua

Architecture: designing air and light

Interview with Shunji Nakatani

Located in Tokyo’s bustling Shibuya district, Nakatani Studio is one of Japan’s most original and multifaceted architectural practices.

Ceramic tiles speak Italian in Brussels

Interview with Fabrizio Fascianella - Salvatore Carrelages

Thanks to the enterprise and determination of the founding Fascianella family, Salvatore Carrelages has established itself as a leading distributor of innovative, high-quality ceramic tiles in the Belgian market. The company began its journey 25 years ago in Sicily and is looking forward to a bright future. We spoke to Fabrizio Fascianella, the son of the company’s founder

Paste Group Showroom in Poznan

Paste Group: high quality products and customer care

Interview with Bartosz Szablewski - Paste Group

“Right from the beginning, our philosophy was to look after our customers in the same way that we would like to be treated ourselves,” says Bartosz Szablewski, director and co-owner of the Polish Paste Group, which he runs together with his mother Beata Szablewska. The company, founded in 1993 in Poznan, deals mainly with architects and private customers and offers them the very best Italian products

Creativity beyond habit

Interview with Odile Decq

Best known in Italy for the MACRO project in Rome, Odile Decq sees architecture as a profession open to other areas of knowledge, a discipline that must be constantly renewed in order to keep pace with the times. She teaches this approach to her students at the Confluence Institute in Paris

Heather Dubbeldam principal Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

A commitment to design excellence and environmental sustainability

Interview with Heather Dubbeldam | Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, Toronto

Based in Toronto, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design is an award-winning design studio recognized for creating cutting-edge and sustainably focused projects. The studio is a two-time Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition Honorable Mention winner for its contemporary designs of the Walper Hotel & Through House

Architecture at the service of human beings

Interview with Maria Claudia Clemente and Francesco Isidori - Labics

The Rome-based practice Labics, conceived as a laboratory of ideas devoted to research and experimentation, carries out projects that address the complex and highly topical themes of comfort and sustainability, issues that are now particularly urgent due to the Covid-19 health emergency

A Hungarian success story

Interview with Gergő Szabó - director Palatinus 94 Kft

Gergő Szabó, owner and director of Palatinus 94 Kft, sees excellent customer service and investments in growth as the keys to the success of the Hungarian company, which operates throughout the country with ninety employees and seven sales outlets. Amidst the challenges of 2020, the company has digitalised its central warehouse, scheduled the launch of a new online store and searched for locations for future showrooms

Designing the Customer Experience

Interview with Robert Ruscio - Principal and Owner of Ruscio Studio

Based in Montréal, Ruscio Studio is an award-winning full-service design firm that specializes in commercial interiors for retail and hospitality clients. Over the years, their portfolio has grown to include a wide range of projects within the sector, from mall renovations and kiosks to boutiques, bars, hotels, and restaurants.

Promoting large size tiles and their underlying design concept

Interview with Ander Baranda - CEO Recubre

Recubre is a Mexican retail chain that operates in the capital region and the Yucatan tourist area. We discuss the uncertainties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic

Ceramic tile e-commerce

Interview with Marco Simuttis - Fliesenrabatte.de

Set up fifteen years ago by two young entrepreneurs, Fliesenrabatte.de is now one of the tile industry’s top e-commerce websites.

Italian tile brings a touch of warmth to Northern Europe

Interview with Viggo Rangnes - Sales & Marketing Director Bergersen Flis

The decision to distribute Italian tiles has underpinned the more than thirty-year success of a major Norwegian distributor

Driving the Industry Forward Through Experiential Learning & Immersion

Interview with Ross Keltie - VP of Sales and Marketing Centura

Since the 1930s, Centura has established itself as a leader in the distribution of ceramic tiles across North America. With their rich history of working with Italian ceramic brands dating...

People over Product: how this growing distributor stays humble

Interview with George Braica - VP Operations at Quality Wood Floors, Inc.

A family-owned business with four generations of talented wood craftsmen, Quality Wood Floors has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the late 1890s, in a small workshop...

Experiential, Sustainable Design: The Way of the Future

Interview with Donna Childs - tvsdesign

Founded in 1968, Atlanta-based design firm tvsdesign embodies what it means to be forward-thinking – everything they produce demonstrates a careful consideration of technology, sustainability, and the user experience.

Signals from the future

Interview with Italo Rota

An architect and curious intellectual, Italo Rota is capable of appreciating – often in advance – many aspects of the changes that are shaping society and the ways in which technology and science are transforming lifestyles.

The decision to focus on architects and designers

Interview with Jay Lindgren - managing director Kakelspecialisten AB

Twenty-seven years’ experience in selling ceramic tiles to architects and the general public; the largest showroom in Scandinavia and a range of high-end products; investments focused on developing the digital...

Ciot breaks ground in Atlanta

Interview with Patrick Pepin - Managing Partner Ciot

Leading Canadian company expands its reach with a new showroom and slab gallery in America’s southeast

Staying ahead in a rapidly changing industry

Interview with Kristina Panzera – Ciot Montréal Inc.

Ciot has long been a leading North American distributor of Italian ceramic products – and now in their 69th year, they have the Confindustria Ceramica North American Distributor Award to prove it.

Building for the common good

Interview with Pia Durisch and Aldo Nolli - Durisch + Nolli Architetti

Structure, space and light, expression and atmosphere, energy efficiency and the environment, urban design and a patient process of restoration and reuse are the key concepts that guide the work of Swiss architecture firm Durisch + Nolli

Combining aesthetics and professional ethics

Interview with Sergey Skuratov

“The architect’s mission is to build! But 21st century architects also have to be politicians, social activists, defenders of nature and the historical heritage and much more…”

Architecture as a brand

Interview with Adolfo Suarez and Marco Amosso - Lombardini22

Lombardini22 has developed a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach based on strategic pre-project analysis and consulting conducted by a team of highly specialised professionals and organised in terms of business units

The Future is now

Interview with Stefan Blach - Studio Libeskind

Stefan Blach of Studio Libeskind talks about his passion for planning and his responsibilities in creating great architecture that will affect future generations.

Tile and Vision

Interview with Jim Vogel and Becky French - Conestoga Tile

Conestoga Tile is one of the most valid distributors of Italian ceramic tiles. The company imports, distributes, and markets high-quality ceramic and porcelain tile to the United States through three...

Italians create new trends

Interview with Rolf Haan - Julius van der Werf

Julius van der Werf, a medium and high-end product wholesaler located in the heart of the Netherlands, is one of the winners of the 2018 Confindustria Ceramica Distributor Award.

The equal importance of quality & skill in tile installation

Interview with Chris Woelfel - Artcraft Granite Marble and Tile Company

After nearly two decades of working in the tile industry, Arizona-based Chris Woelfel offers a breadth of knowledge from her work at Artcraft Granite, Marble and Tile Company and J.G....

Ethical and bioclimatic architecture

Interview with Elisa Valero Ramos

Elisa Valero Ramos, winner of the 2018 Swiss Architectural Award, adopts a silent, counter-current approach to promote a form of architecture that is environmentally friendly as well as sophisticated and innovative in the use of reinforced concrete and ceramic.

“We chose tiles to offset a fall in sales”

Interview with Robin de Man - Michel Oprey&Beisterveld

With the largest showroom space in the Benelux area, the Dutch company works with a dozen high-end Italian brands

Italian tiles lead the world

Interview with Tim Westra - Wayne Tile

A business dating back 60 years, Wayne Tile has chosen Italian tile for its demanding clientele

Graceful design

Interview with Ella Mamiche - ZAS Architects + Interiors

Ella Mamiche has over 30 years of experience as a practicing architect in one of Canada’s busiest cities - Toronto. The only female Principal at ZAS Architects + Interiors, Mamiche has helped grow the firm’s interiors division and contributed to an impressive 23 awards for their projects.

Visions of reason

Interview with Klaus Hannappel

Klaus Hannappel: “Architecture must incorporate an idea or a vision regarding a specific interpretation of the task at hand and the constraints that are involved. Radicalism, as the expression of a coherent solution, is both useful and necessary.”

A fourth generation family business in tile

Interview with Bernadette Valva-White and Robert Valva of Cancos Tile and Stone

Cancos is a family owned and operated business who has been a leading distributor since 1953.

The responsibility of architecture

Interview with Doug Bothner

Baltimore based architect, Doug Bothner has helped lead Ziger/Snead Architects for 18 years while growing his expertise in the architecture and design field. With an impressive repertoire of clients that include the Baltimore Museum of Art, National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, Washington International School, among other institutions and countless beautiful residential projects, Bothner is well versed in the art of designing impressive buildings.

Learning from the masters

Interview with Tim Power

American architect Tim Power started up his own practice after gaining experience as a student of Ettore Sottsass. He has worked for almost thirty years in Italy, maintaining a strong sensibility towards the tradition of master architects and working on scales ranging “from the spoon to the city”.

Foto di Giulio Ceppi

Hybridisation, from the spoon to the city

Interview with Giulio Ceppi

Giulio Ceppi founded the practice Total Tool in the late 1990s with a mission focused on the project as innovation, as a process spanning design, architecture and communication. A complex set of actions and predictions requiring interdisciplinarity, management skills and perseverance to achieve precise and effective solutions.

Objects that stimulate the imagination

Interview with Gabriele Chiave

An emerging designer for Alessi and creative director for Marcel Wanders, Gabriele Chiave’s work ranges from product and interior design through to brand communication. He adopts a transversal approach to design that transcends function and in which decoration plays a key role.

An alliance between manufacturers and distributors

Interview with Vincenzo Pisani

The NAXB purchasing group was set up in 2008 to offer the Scandinavian market a wide range of ceramic products. Last year it purchased 1.5 million square metres of tiles.

Traditional techniques applied to modern production

Interview with Ola Rune

Ola Rune, co-founder of the architecture practice Claesson Koivisto Rune, explains that Swedish consumers are constantly in search of new design solutions.

Uncompromising quality and a strong customer focus

Interview with Roberto Bertacchi - Sabag Group

The Sabag Group is Switzerland’s largest family-owned construction materials distributor. Founded in 1913, it began selling ceramic tiles in the 1950s.

Expert advice as the key to success

Interview with Boy Meesenburg - CEO of Jacob Sönnichsen AG

Boy Meesenburg, CEO and sole shareholder of Jacob Sönnichsen AG, discusses the strategies of a group that employs 500 people and generates revenues of €170 million.

Regent Building Materials Supplies, italian ceramics sets trends in Hong Kong

Interview with Simon Tso

Simon Tso emphasises the excellence of Italian products in terms of design, technology and sustainability.

Ideas for objects that tell a story

Giulio Iacchetti: "A well-made design object can become a lifelong companion. But the objects that stand the test of time are those whose role goes beyond their function. They are objects that share a story with us. They arouse emotions and generate a close bond of affection. The most real and most authentic objects are those that evoke strong memories and have a story to tell".

Kristina Zanic: “A preference for matt and digitally printed tiles”

Ceramics are a very big part of the spaces designed by the interior designer Kristina Zanic in the Emirates.

Top-shelf service

Interview with Stephen Fischer - President Garden State Tile

60 years of exemplary customer service recognized by the Confindustria Ceramica North American Distributor Award. Garden State Tile explains its strategy and perspective.

Solus Ceramics: creativity and customised solutions

Interview with Marcus Bentley

Solus Ceramics Ltd., the winner of the Confindustria Ceramica Distributor Award 2016, is one of the UK’s top distributors with showrooms in Birmingham and London

The evolution of ceramic in design culture over the course of a decade

Twenty-five Italian and international architects, who know and use Italian ceramic tiles, discuss their perception of the product and its evolution.

Attention to detail is key

Interview with Gerald King and Matt Houser - Principals of Ceramic Technics Ltd

Atlanta-based tile & stone distributor Ceramic Technics Ltd is committed to supplying Italian tile for prestigious commercial projects.

Giving voice to materials

Interview with Solano Benítez

For Solano Benítez "architecture 'speaks' through materials, it communicates using ceramic and stone. We acquire knowledge through action".

Architecture plus Location plus Art

Interview with Gino Garbellini

The project laboratory created by a group of friends who followed the same career path from Gregotti Associati in the mid-eighties through to the foundation of the practice Piuarch represents a new form of professionalism in Italian architecture.

Techno-Nature

Interview with Setsu and Shinobu Ito

Japanese designers Setsu and Shinobu Ito, who work together in Milan, follow a design approach based on the relationship between human beings, nature and technology and share a fascination with Italian design

Microcosms of space and light

Interview with Sandra Barclay e Jean Pierre Crousse

The buildings created by Peruvian architecture practice Barclay & Crousse look like pre-Colombian ruins with pure geometries, seemingly timeless volumes extruded from the soil.

Designing the invisible

Interview with Paolo Asti

Paolo Asti’s architecture practice offers “homeopathic” remedies that give new life to historic buildings in Milan’s city centre.