It happened again. The UIC Barcelona Ceramics Chair, through its students, once again occupied a place of prominence in the latest edition of the Ceramic Design Competition, organised each year by the Cevisama Idea Lab, the ceramics sector’s international trade show in Valencia.
In the category “Ceramic Products Formed by Other Methods”, the jury awarded joint first place honours to the projects “Ceramic Squama”, by Guillermo Marfà Permanyer, and “Neo Blind”, by Ariadna Rodríguez de San Gregorio, both students at the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. In the case of “Neo Blind”, the jury distinguished the project’s reinterpretation of a roll-up blind with a combination of laminated ceramics and wood, “putting thin ceramics to new use”. As for “Ceramic Squama”, a system that uses ceramics to make façades mobile, the jury praised “the versatility it gives ceramic material, which opens the door to future hi-tech applications”. The award carries with it a cash prize of €1,500 per student.
In addition, Kay Curtis, another School of Architecture student, was awarded second prize in the “Semi-Dry Pressed Ceramic Products” category for her project “Tritela”. This technical solution proposes “an adaptable design in the form of a second skin”. The jury pointed out that “with this exterior, we commended its capacity to generate organic surfaces, as a starting point for a project with high-tech ceramics”. This award includes a cash prize of €1,000.
In the same category, the jury, by unanimous decision, decided to award runner-up honours without economic compensation to the student Ignacio Morente-Gemas for his project “Pla/cer”, which consists of a ceramic sandwich panel, “thanks to the flexible compartmentalisation of a ceramic panel which could evolve into a self-supporting system for both ephemeral and permanent use.” Fellow School of Architecture student Nieves Blackstead was also part of the creative team behind the aforementioned award-winning projects, alongside Ignacio Morente and Guillermo Marfà.
The projects were assessed by a multidisciplinary jury made up of Pablo Peñín, from the Regional Association of Architects of Valencia; Rafa Muñoz, from the Association of Interior Designers of the Community of Valencia; designer Vicent Clausell; researcher and trend watcher Pepa Casado, founder of the company future-A; and journalist Eugenio Viñas. The project analysis took place on 25 January at the Feria Valencia Expo Centre, where, under the coordination of María Fontes, the jury selected the winners from, in their words, “a large number of excellent projects”.
This is the 14th straight year that the UIC Barcelona Ceramics Chair has left its mark on this international competition, one of the ceramics sector’s most prestigious international contests. The Ceramics Chair, which is sponsored by the Spanish Association of Tile and Ceramic Pavement Manufacturers (ASCER), has formed part of the School of Architecture’s Department of Architectural Construction at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC Barcelona) since 2004-2005. Vicenç Sarrablo, its director, describes the subject taught as part of the Chair as “a mix between ceramic design and construction that you won’t find at any other schools of Architecture, which don’t explore the potential of ceramics, or schools of design, which have difficulty gaining a foothold in architecture. That’s why”, he points out, “I think it’s so hard for other centres to outdo our students’ projects. It’s great that people from outside the university recognize how well-prepared our graduates are”.
This year’s award-winning projects will be on display in Pavilions 2 and 4 at the Feria Valencia Expo Centre during Cervisama, which is scheduled to take place from 5-9 February. The awards ceremony will be held on 9 February at 1 p.m. in the lobby inside the expo centre.