Having, in the past few months, visited Cersaie in Italy, Cevisama in Bologna and Revestir in Brazil, and covered the Surface Design Show in London, I am fairly clear on the current global tile design trends. In the wall tile arena, 3D forms, geometric shapes, texture and the artisanal vibe are all prominent.
However, if you cast your mind back a mere five years, to Cevisama 2012, it is clear that the attraction of vintage and artisan-inspired ceramics has had a long gestation.
At Cevisama 2017, many of the 2012’s drivers still apply: a return to cultural roots that focused on the traditions of Spanish craftsmanship while tweaking the designs to offer contemporary beauty and functionality.
Back in 2012, Spanish tile manufacturers – such as Vives, Natucer, Tau, Grespania, Cevica, Peronda, Decorativa, Pamesa and Inalco – were at the cutting edge of this craft revival; offering ceramic products recreating the aesthetic nuances of time-honoured artisans adapted to the latest manufacturing technologies.
In 2012, this trend revealed itself in effects ranging from imitation mosaics through to vintage patterns, subtle textural imperfections and deliberate traces of the ‘human’ touch. In one example, Saloni drew inspiration from vintage geometric patterns, above.
Saloni also harked back to vintage in-laid floral patterns with these subtle relief tiles.
Of course, modern ceramic tile design has always been an exercise in re-exploring colours, textures and forms: most clearly seen in recent years in the use of hexagons.
2012 saw Spanish tile manufacturers offer an enticing range of honeycomb-inspired designs; from craft decors right through to technologically-advance porcelain tiles.
Natucer’s Caprice celebrated a passion for detail with its honeycomb-shaped tiles with subtle textural patterns.
Natucer also introduced Castella in 2012, a range of mosaic-effect tiles with multi-coloured hexagonal tessellations.
Back in 2012, Pamesa was inspired Catalan crafts and architecture for a series of vividly coloured contemporary tiles with a ‘trencadis’ effect. Trencadis is the traditional Catalan mosaic made from fragments of tiles, as seen in many Spanish architectural landmarks, from Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona to Calatrava’s City of Arts and Science in Valencia. Five years on, trencadis is big new in tile design.
Vintage geometric patterns, typically used form mosaic flooring and traditional Spanish handmade cement tiles, were given new life in 2012 by Cevica.
Cevica also played the retro card with the rounded squares of this 50s-inspired range.
At the high tech end of the spectrum, Apavisa added a hexagonal shape to three of its most advance ranges: Archconcept, Neocountry, and Extreme. All of these high tech porcelain tile collections are suitable for stylish interiors, as well as for exteriors, public spaces, high traffic areas and ventilated façades.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, March 2017.