Cerámica, a ground-breaking new exhibition at RIBA North supported by Tile of Spain, is set to explore the future use of ceramics and technology in architecture. From 28th October 2017, a series of full-scale installations by ECAlab will enliven RIBA’s new centre on the Liverpool waterfront, examining how ceramics have a bright future as a high-performance, environmentally-friendly and beautiful building material for architecture and design.
ECAlab (Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory) and their collaborators at ASCER (The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association) have innovatively demonstrated in a six-year research project involving numerous students, universities, industry partners and internationally respected ceramicists. It is the results of this experimental and dynamic research that will be on show at RIBA North, the new national architecture centre on the Liverpool waterfront.
Running until 10th February 2018, Cerámica will highlight how traditional ceramic techniques and digital engineering processes can be used together to produce more meaningful and sustainable architectural elements. Using new technologies, British and international ceramicists have created a series of ceramic ceilings and walls that show different vernacular languages, reflecting local heritage. Highlights of the exhibition will include full-scale prototypes of light-diffusing facades and ceilings.
“Ceilings, façades and walls may seem rather banal,” says Suzy Jones, Director of RIBA North, “but this exhibition showcases how we could inject beautiful, hand-crafted products into our buildings and spaces.”
“The Cerámica exhibition with RIBA North is a starting point for us,” explains Dr Rosa Urbano Gutiérrez of ECAlab, “and we are using it as a tool to generate new directions and new discussions.”
The exhibition is supported by Tile of Spain-ASCER, along with Liverpool University and Leeds Beckett University. And as the creative minds of industry and academia work together to bridge disciplines, it is an exciting and positive result that the outcomes of this exhibition will inform the development of viable architectural products. Spanish tile manufacturers have played an important role in exploring the future sustainability of ceramics and their technical performance and so ECAlab’s research has often been presented at Ceivama: Spain’s annual tile trade fair.
The RIBA North exhibition will also feature a film explaining the experimental design methodologies explored at the ECAlab and will be opened to the public on 28th October with a tour/talk by ECAlab’s founder Dr Rosa Urbano Gutiérrez.
A number of artists’ workshops and a seminar Moulding Futures Symposium, will contribute further to the debate on the future for ceramics within architecture. And as Professor Stuart Walker, professor of design for sustainability, says: “Design for sustainability demands a new outlook. We are at the beginning of a new era, one limited only by the human imagination. The Cerámica exhibition offers an inspiring vision of this potential future.”
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, September 2017.