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Ceramic Futures: from poetry to science fiction

Ceramic Futures: from poetry to science fiction, the first social project devoted entirely to ceramics, will start out from Milan, travel and evolve on the web, and reach its final destination in Bologna during Cersaie.
The initiative is promoted by the pre-eminent international ceramics exhibition Cersaie, the trade fair organised by the Italian ceramic industry each year in Bologna (www.cersaie.it).
Starting point: Milan. The project Ceramic Futures: from poetry to science fiction (www.ceramicfutures.com) will be launched in the Design Library in Milan on 6 June at 21.15 with a roundtable discussion focusing on the most interesting, problematic and important issues facing the future of ceramics. These are the themes that will be explored over the coming months by students from four leading art schools (IED Rome, Abadir Catania, Glasgow School of Art and Milan Polytechnic).
The challenge of the project is to take a design-centric approach to exploring the already-present future of a product that has accompanied mankind since the dawn of time. It is a product whose ten thousand years of history brings together very different cultures, countries and locations. And now that it has reached the third millennium, it is facing tough yet fascinating challenges posed by the processes of globalisation and technological transformation – including the advent of digital technology. Who better, then, than young designers from different locations to suggest possible new ways forward?
A journey on the web. The four groups of students will work on the project during the months of June and July 2013 to a brief prepared by Elio Caccavale and Stefano Mirti. They will adopt an interactive and collaborative approach based on the communication opportunities offered by social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), combining analogue methods (each individual or group will work in their own city using traditional design techniques) with the digital technologies that are now ubiquitous in our daily lives. The entire project will be hosted on a dedicated web platform (www.ceramicfutures.com) that will communicate constantly with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
As all interactions will take place via social media, the entire design process will be open and visible from the outside.

Anyone can connect and interact, make observations and comments or ask questions. Because social media are intrinsically open and capable of communicating transversally with anyone, a viral communication mechanism will be automatically built into the process.
Ceramic Futures: from poetry to science fiction is a project promoted by Confindustria Ceramica and organised by Edi. Cer. Spa in cooperation with IdLab.

The roundtable discussion will be held in the Design Library in Milan on Thursday 6 June at 21.15 and will host the following speakers:

Vittorio Borelli, Chairman of the Confindustria Ceramica Promotional Activities Commission
Stefano Mirti, Designer and partner of IdLab
Elio Caccavale, Designer and Lecturer in Product Design, Glasgow School of Art
Irene Bell, Head of ceramic design, Glasgow School of Art
Alberto Iacovoni, Scientific Director, IED Rome
Laura Negrini, Director IED Design, Rome
Marco Lampugnani, Designer and partner of Snark Space Making
Ko Sliggers, Graphic Designer and Lecturer at Accademia Abadir
Lucia Giuliano, Director of Accademia Abadir

Moderator: Matteo Poli, Abitare Magazine

Destination: Bologna – Cersaie. The entire process will be concluded at Cersaie (Bologna, 23-27 September), where the results of the interactive ceramic projects will be exhibited and discussed. There will be a display of the prototypes developed by the groups of students and a conference where the design concepts will be introduced and awards presented to the most worthy and interesting projects.

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