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By Editorial Staff -

Technological progress is driving forward tile design, seeking perfection in color, texture and material effect. An unexpected decorative avenue forged by this is the cross-fertilization from the world of art, graphic design, painting and cartoons. Tile manufacturers are working with artists to produce striking designs that can characterize a home or an office block, in a fusion of aesthetics and technical excellence of ceramics. ABK has come up with the on demand Wide&Style project, in which kaleidoscopic, high definition digital decorations produce a flurry of combinations and options for personalization. The collection includes the “single slab” pattern that is a genuine artwork. The Wide&Style large tiles (up to 160x320 cm) minimize the grouting effect to produce an almost visually uninterrupted pattern. Panaria Ceramica’s Memory Mood takes a hop back into the past, with a new version of artisan concrete tiles (hugely popular in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries) in colored stoneware that creates a lived-in, crafted feel. Memory Mood comes in 6 colors and 9 patterns, characterized by geometric and floral designs reminiscent of Middle Eastern and North African styles combined with the Italian worn look. Ceramica Del Conca definitely has the imaginary touch, with its Valentina collection by Guido Crepax, who was supported by Archivio Crepax. These tiles add glamour to any contemporary or original home. There are two options: the first (50x20 cm) is laid vertically and highlights the slender figure of Valentina; the second (20x50 cm) is laid horizontally and focuses on the details of this 1970s icon, especially the hands, face and bright red lips. Arte Pura is a design project by Ceramiche Refin and Daniela Dallavalle. Born from a celebration of art and material, the collection combines clay and fabric fibers to present the designer’s abstract, naïve art and turn the cladding into a sort of installation without losing practicality. Archeologie is another example of art underpinning decoration, this time created by CEDIT working with Franco Guerzoni. The artist has transported his concept of “archeology of everyday life” onto large, flat tiled surfaces, with “fragments of frescoes”, re-paintings and splatterings of powdery, chalky color that produce striking, tactile designs. Naxos found inspiration from a slightly different source - the irregular, random nature of fire clay in artworks - to create Raku. This collection is a contemporary reinterpretation of Japanese Raku pottery, characterized by minimalist elegance. The combination of colors and decorative trends bring life to Raku tiles through contrasts and light variations. Provenza’s Gesso collection takes the use of this material - plaster - in a new direction, since it is not common for flooring or wall cladding. This delicate surface, with a tone-on-tone pattern, makes the gauze that binds the plaster a central feature, skillfully using faded colors to exalt the natural hues of this material and bring lightness and purity to the room. Ceramica Sant’Agostino’s My Decor is a tailor-made collection that uses special software to print customized decorations and patterns on tiles, even if they are structured or raised. The technology can produce different shades, shadows and tones to faithfully recreate the desired material effects. Fragments, designed by Pierre Charpin for Ceramiche Piemme, also uses cross-fertilization between tiles and art. The artist has created two patterns - Form and Oblong - that explore the de-composition and re-composition of multiple materials to reproduce an overall harmony underpinned by the diversity of differing effects and surfaces to make an environment dynamic and unique. Finally, Òrchestra, designed by La Fabbrica, draws on numerous sources of inspiration, including Mediterranean vegetation and contemporary Made in Italy design to produce a range of warm colors on neutral, elegant backgrounds. The textures include geometric patterns and floral motifs, adding to the scope for customization.

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