“Arcipelago Italia. Projects for the future of the country’s interior territories”
is the title of the Italian Pavilion at the 2018 Biennale, focusing on the urban space along the backbone of Italy, and specifically on five areas requiring specific actions which become tangible symbols for re-launching the country’s interior territories. The final goal is to come up with a possible future approach relating architecture to landscape, reflecting on the discipline’s role in the process of urban redevelopment.
The Biennale has always had a particular focus on reflection addressing different social, ethical and environmental issues, proposing new scenarios investigating the foundations of design.
Because of this vocation characterising the event in Venice and the focus of reflection in this year’s Italian Pavilion, the Iris Ceramica Group has decided to sponsor the event, expressing the unity of intent the company shares with Mario Cucinella and with the FREESPACE Manifesto written by curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara.
“Our participation in the construction of the Italian Pavilion at one of the most important international architecture events exactly corresponds, in both premises and vision, to the values characterising the Group’s identity and work. We leapt at the opportunity right away,” comments Iris Ceramica Group CEO Federica Minozzi.
“The history of the Iris Ceramica Group, and the development of its trademarks, has always focused on issues of sustainability and environmental protection, even before it was popular to do so; this is the distinguishing feature of a Group that has always been concerned with conservation and safeguarding of the territories where it works above all else.
Ever since the Group was founded we have accepted and pursued the responsible challenge of sustainable development for a future on a “human scale”, and the company’s vocation finds its utmost expression in the Arcipelago Italia project and in the research and design work of MCA, offering concrete food for thought and for critical analysis of architecture’s ethical and social role in the process of development and revitalisation of territories.”
In the Italian Pavilion, located at Tese delle Vergini all’Arsenale, Iris Ceramica Group materials will form a 10 metre long backdrop made up of big 300x100 cm slabs of high-tech ceramic.
The structure will be customised with the Group’s innovative “DYS - Design Your Slabs” technology, using a design hand-drawn by Mario Cucinella to illustrate the project concept and the selected areas of intervention to the public.
Mario Cucinella tells us about the Italian ceramics group’s relationship with his studio:
“We share a profound common vision of sustainability with the Iris Ceramica Group. The company has had a strong focus on the issue for many years, ever since it was established in the 70s, when the owners already had a clear vision of the relationship between industrial production and pollution. Now, almost 50 years later, this vision has become a part of the company’s heritage, and the problem has been transformed into an opportunity that is not only economic but environmental.
The quality of materials, and their ability to play an active role reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions, will become more and more important in the future. This is not just an active form of logic but a productive industry.
An ecological conscience is the key to success in production, and this is what the company has in common with my studio’s philosophy. In the Italian Pavilion, these environmental themes are profoundly linked with a social and ethical dimension. We represent a country which, despite its many difficulties, has a powerful heritage enclosing the roots of our culture. In the Apennines, the small towns have been producing innovation, culture and landscape for centuries.
The Italian model of a thousand small towns, where vicinity has always been synonymous with competitiveness and diversity but also with cultural growth, is somehow unique. The relationship between landscape and city, between culture and the local economy, represent a heritage that must not be lost, an antidote to globalisation in the form of cultural levelling. An economic vision must be associated with a local economy, with redistribution of resources. We share these values with Iris Ceramica Group in this project focusing on research and discovery of the country.”
Iris Ceramica Group has always been aware of and oriented toward production of important cultural heritage and embraces the Arcipelago Italia project in the conviction that architecture has a key role to play in contributing to improvement of human life and activation of new forms of sustainable development.