Lea Ceramiche presented Pixel and Nest, designed by HOK Product Design, and Type-32 Slimtech, designed by Diego Grandi, in a thought-provoking installation called Urban and Domestic Landscapes at Milan Design Week 2014.
Lea Ceramiche’s installation was spread over two levels, and explored the use of different techniques in ceramic coverings and possible applications in architectural and domestic projects.
The first floor exhibit, designed by HOK Product Design, was defined by colour and movement. To the right, a large colour wall crossed the space displaying overlapping, staggered rectangular modules (125 by 500mm) with a vibrant pattern that recalled the tones and colours of the sea, the earth and grasslands.
The installation used rectangular tiles laid to a specific system that gave the modules a stacked appearance reminiscent of roof tiles. The overall visual effect was of a surface in motion, where colour is the predominant element, created by coloured dots and an infinity of pixels, giving the collection its name. Pixel can be used for covering the exteriors of buildings as well as for the floors and walls of large spaces.
To the left of the exhibit, HOK turned the wall into a huge slot-together puzzle. The Nest range was inspired by shapes found in the natural world. It consists of irregular modules (1,000mm) used together to create large hexagonal shapes. The result is a virtual puzzle of endless jigsaw pieces that draws attention to the unconventional use of ceramics. This design gives the surface structure and personality, while changing the architectural landscape.
“We have had an incredibly positive experience working with Cesare Cabani, Elisa Bellucci and their team at Lea Ceramiche. Our design team was interested in using Lea Ceramiche’s new Slimtech line, which uses Microban Antimicrobial Technology,” says HOK’s Grossinger. “The original idea behind Pixel was to ‘blow-up’ an image that has been converted from print to a digitized image – or pixelated. Pixel can be used in larger scale spaces in both architectural and residential projects. Nest is a series of hexagons and triangles, affectionately called PacMan, that can be used in a myriad of layouts to let designers use their imagination. HOK Product Design also worked with Lea to increase colour saturation in the Slimtech line to allow for great variation in the collection. Both Pixel and Nest can be used on walls and floors, even in high traffic spaces.”
The Lea Ceramiche showroom also accommodated a new presentation of Type-32, designed by Diego Grandi. The exhibit showed the intrinsic features of the range by prominently displaying the colour and graphic variations.
The Type-32 range employs a method of overlapping two layers to achieve dynamic colours and textures. The first layer is more textural, consisting of a silk-screen design that replicates the appearance of wood. The second is more graphic, consisting of a decoration based on recurring oblique lines creating four unique patterns. These four patterns, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, are available in two hot or cold colours and are overlapped with four base colours creating a total of 32 different elements that make up the collection. Like the letters in a new decorative alphabet, the elements can be combined to create a potentially infinite surface; a large rug playing on the themes of illusion and memory, with a design recalling the traditional parquet floors.
Instead of working with standard sizes, Type-32 uses the Lea Slimtech 200 by 2,000mm plank format, 5.5mm thick. Versatile laying solutions offer virtually endless potential combinations of wood colours, textures and tones.
This article first appeared in Tile & Stone Journal, May 2014