RIBA North’s Cerámica explores the future of ceramics 20.10.17

Ceramic installation 630 x 475 2

Cerámica, an innovative new exhibition at RIBA North supported by Tile of Spain / ASCER, explores the use of ceramics and technology in architecture. From 28 October 2017 to 10 February 2018, a series of full-scale installations will challenge preconceptions of the place of ceramics in the design and build process, including a light-diffusing ceiling of 200 cones by ECAlab (seen above).

Ceramics have a bright future as a high-performance, environmentally friendly and beautiful building material, say ECAlab (Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory) and their collaborators at ASCER (The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association). The results of their six-year research project involving numerous students, universities, industry partners and internationally respected ceramicists are on show at RIBA North’s new national architecture centre (seen below) on Liverpool’s waterfront.

Mann Island RIBA 630 x 475 2

The exhibition 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 reflect different vernaculars and local heritage.

‘Ceilings, facades and walls may seem rather banal,’ says Director of RIBA North, Suzy Jones, ‘but this exhibition showcases how we could inject beautiful, hand-crafted products into our buildings and spaces.’

‘Cerámica is about the collaborative process to date, but it is also so much more than this,’ say Dr Rosa Urbano Gutiérrez and Amanda Wanner, founders of ECAlab and Senior Lecturers in Architecture at Liverpool University and Leeds Beckett University respectively. ‘The Cerámica exhibition with RIBA North is a starting point for us,’ explains Gutiérrez, ‘and we are using it as a tool to generate new directions and new discussions.’  

These new conversations will begin with a series of curator talks, starting on 28th October, and develop further at artists’ workshops (18 Nov  and 13 Jan) and a seminar, Moulding Futures: Architectural Ceramics Symposium (8 Dec) which are all being held throughout the duration of the exhibition, drawing visitors much closer into the process of how the ceramicist creates (see below).

Artist Wendy Lawrence 630 x 475 2

For more information on the exhibition, visit www.architecture.com/ceramica and on the history of the collaboration between ECAlab and Tile of Spain / ASCER and their ceramic studies programmes, see www.ecalab.org and www.tileofspain.com.

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