From September 26 through 30, the Fiera di Bologna exhibition center is again hosting Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tiles and Bathroom Furnishings. The flagship event of Bologna’s exhibition center, Cersaie is being staged for the 39th time this year and is already a sellout. Twenty-six nations are represented at Cersaie 2022, with 624 exhibitors, and 238 exhibitors from outside Italy. Organized by Edi.Cer. for Confindustria Ceramica and BolognaFiere, the opening press conference was held this morning in Palazzo d’Accursio’s Farnese Chapel. In attendance were Giovanni Savorani and Emilio Mussini, president and vice president respectively of Confindustria Ceramica; Emily Clancy, deputy mayor of Bologna; and Gianpiero Calzolari, president of BolognaFiere.
With this year’s event covering a total of 1.5 million square feet (140,000 m2) of exhibition space, carpenters, electricians, builders, and others are all hard at work at the moment to get Fiera di Bologna’s 15 exhibition halls ready. Sustainability will be the key theme running through this year’s show. The organizers are expecting attendance numbers to hit 100 thousand, surpassing even pre-Covid numbers. In the last week of September, architects, interior designers, retailers, contractors, and installers from all over the world will be participating in what is the most important international event for anyone who works with ceramic and other surfaces, and bathroom furnishings. Cersaie 2022 also includes a string of events supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as the Italian Trade Agency. The event opening, which will see the participation of Roberto Cingolani, Italy’s minister for ecological transition, will be held on Monday, September 26 at 11:00 a.m., including the ribbon cutting in Piazza della Costituzione and the opening conference, entitled “Ceramic Manufacturing: Sustainability and Responses to the Energy Crisis”.
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New for 2022, Cersaie Upstairs is an elevated walkway where visitors take a sensory and immersive stroll through the four elements of Fire, Air, Earth, and Water as they relate to ceramic manufacturing. Gallery 21/22 will host Archincont(r)act, an exhibit involving six of the most important architectural firms in the world. Meanwhile, Gallery 25/26 will host a VIP Lounge for delegations of international professionals from architecture and the contract market. Finally, in the mezzanine area between Halls 19 and 20, there will be a restaurant operated by Bologna-based culinary association Tour-Tlen, where visitors will be able to experience the specialties of Bologna, including tortellini and mortadella.
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Like every year, Cersaie includes a high-profile conference program, providing a moment for reflection for professionals and an opportunity for enrichment for businesspeople. The program, dubbed “Building, Dwelling, Thinking” and held in Palazzo dei Congressi’s EuropAuditorium, will include as speakers Giovanni Cappelletti, Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo, Fulvio Irace, Mario Botta, Bergmeisterwolf Architekten, and Manuel Herz. Also returning this year are the Press Cafés, set up as informal meeting places where journalists and architects will discuss topical issues through the lens of sustainability. The Materials of Architecture: Design as a Responsible Choice is the title of the session to be held by THE PLAN. Scheduled for 12 p.m. on Thursday, September 29 at the Services Center, the session will feature Nicola Leonardi, cofounder and editor of the magazine, in conversation with Susanna Tradati from Studio Nemesi and Stefano Gri from GEZA Architettura.
This year is the tenth anniversary of Tiling Town, the most technically minded part of Cersaie. Located in Hall 32, it will include seminars and practical demonstrations of the latest methods for laying ceramic tiles and the relative standards. Finally, on Thursday and Friday, when Cersaie is open to the public, “Cersaie Designs Your Home” will take place, where, for two days, professionals will give free home renovation advice.
This year, Cersaie is finally returning to normal after the pandemic. Nevertheless, a great deal of uncertainty still surrounds the ceramic industry. “For many companies today, the cost of energy alone is greater than the cost of producing tiles”, commented Savorani. “How can we possibly compete on international markets in this situation? We need measures to support the competitiveness of a sector that exports 85% of what it produces”. The president of Confindustria Ceramica has asked the Italian and European authorities for immediate, reactive, and effective solutions: “The measures adopted so far by the Italian government – such as those contained in the Aid ter decree – are a step in the right direction but they don’t go far enough. This is an emergency: we need a general moratorium on mortgages for families and businesses, but we also have to act at the structural level, stepping up natural gas production in Italy”. Savorani also pointed out the need for a change in Brussels: “The ecological transition needs to be redesigned from scratch and in a less ideological, more pragmatic way”. He mentioned the industry’s research and investments in a greener future, and reminded us that “there can be no environmental sustainability without economic sustainability”.
With Cersaie 2022’s opening press conference taking place in the middle of an election campaign, Confindustria Ceramica asked the leaders of the various parties to outline their positions on two key issues for the ceramic industry: solutions to stem the cost of energy and measures to support Italian manufacturing. Their videoed responses were screened during the event.
Cersaie 2022 will be open on September 26–28 between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., and on Friday, September 29 between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Admission is free, but you need to register on the event website, where the exhibiter catalog is also available. From September 19 through October 7, Cersaie Digital will be available online, a website intended to foster exchange between exhibitors and visitors, and encourage attendance.
Location: Bologna, Italy
Organiser: promoted by Confindustria Ceramica in collaboration with BolognaFiere, organized by Edi.Cer.
Dates: September 26th – 30th, 2022
Images courtesy of Edi.Cer.