Natural stone is one mother nature’s most fundamental of elements that slowly evolves over hundreds of years. Above that, advanced technology has paved the way to allowing natural stone to give shape to living spaces. Both it, alongside marble, are not only rich but also inspirational. Thus, architects, designers, and artists alike tend to let their imaginations run wild when incorporating either material into spaces, buildings, and objects. Modern processing, moreover, allows for all of this, all the while both keeping waste to an absolute minimum, and being environmentally friendly. We live in an age where we need to be far more sensitive to such issues;
we must alter how we see our planet. Marmomac approaches this subject with the utmost of sensitivity. Hence, it’s put forth “naturality/the uniqueness and geological breadth of natural stone”
as being the theme of the 2019 edition. Marmomac is the natural stone sector’s largest and most diverse international trade exhibition. With no exception, those participating this year’s fair between September 25 and 28, gave visitors a chance to discover the newest and hottest trends in the stone world.
Sector professionals met in Verona, Italy, for the fifty-forth time in order to learn about and inspect the latest and the most advanced of stone processing technology. Dedicated culture, innovation, design, and research, The Italian Stone Theatre or Hall 1 hosted both conferences as well as all that worldrenowned designers had to offer in terms of the latest in products and shows. Their aim is to showcase “naturality” through natural stone. Machining and technology firms alike collaborated with brands from other sectors to curate four shows that underscored the green interrelationship between flora and minerals: Brand & Stone 2.0, Natural Things, Lithic Garden, and Percorsi d’Arte. As with previous years, architects, designers, engineers, and technicians poured into the hall’s many conferences and seminars, as well as dropped in on “Nature Works” at its Ristorante D’Autore, alongside a new wine bar, “Natural Beam”, curated by Giorgio Canale.
Curated by none other than Vincenzo Pavan, Lithic Garden was inspired by “hotus conclusus” (i.e. enclosed garden), which embodied in a microcosm of symbols suggesting the desire of the Mediaeval world for a deep bond with nature and the supernatural. It put forth that a garden can now be a place where the interplay between biomaterials can generate new ideas for the human habitat, in a desired and sought-after relationship based on sustainability, balance, and harmony with nature. Horizontal and vertical surfaces, seats, and sculptural elements, alongside vegetal and water inserts dotting the “terrazzo” took visitors on an ethereal journey.
Here, curator Raffaello Galiotto’s aim was to show that stone could become an element of genuine and physical connection between man and nature. Eight installations crafted by names such as Studiopepe, Vincenzo Minenna, Maurizio Barberio, and Lorenzo Palmeri, were individually inserted in cylindrical spaces measuring 4 meters in diameter marked off by a suspended porous mesh to constitute an archipelago of islands which were free to access.
Orchestrated by Raffaello Galiotto, this particular exhibition sought to investigate how machinery could be used in the artistic processing of stone materials. In recent years, with the spread of numerical control technologies, industry and small businesses in the natural stone sector have installed increasingly high performance systems. Five international artists, who have been experimenting for some time with numerical control stone processing technologies, teamed up to creative five works focusing on the theme of natural stone.
Brand & Stone 2.0
After huge success last year, Giorgio Canale took Danilo Michele’s idea to host a show, and ran with it, this time for its second edition. They wanted to respond to the need to bring designers and majör brands-including Gervasoni, Gandia Blasco, Baxter’s Paola Navone, and Toyo Ito, among others-closer to using natural stone, having them include interior and exterior objects and accessories in their collections. Their vision is to demonstrate how possible it to overcome the often widespread reticence of the commercial nature of the material, and thus to encourage its use.
Overseen by Ristorante D’autore’s designer, Veneto Trentino Alto Adige, “Nature Works”, like nature itself, released welcoming and relaxing energy. The project’s theme was to rock in nature in order to interpret them, and to give shape to objects furnishing the location so that guests would feel welcomed by the movement and sensations of the rocky landscapes. The materials representing the forms of nature were marble and natural stone, shaped and modelled by passing time.
The 2019 edition of Marmomac hosted a new wine bar, “Natural Beam” at the Italian Stone Theatre, developed by Giorgio Carnale. The concept was to interpret the hall’s main theme – naturality by transporting visitors into an oasis of peace and quiet. The fundamental idea of the long bar tables was to revamp the notion that stone was more than just a decorative element, demonstrating that it could also stand as a structural material in and of itself as well.
The brainchild of Giuseppe Fallacara, Marco Ferrero, Vincenzo Minenna, Francesca Piccolino Boniforti, Domenico Potenza, and Marco Zito, the “Young Stone” project was born out of the critical need to establish solid relationships with educational institutions, such as universities, art academies, and professional schools. Marmomac has been doing this for more than two decades, whereupon that relationship has further been strengthened with select Italian universities now teaching design courses with content related to stone studies, research, and experimentation. This led Marmomac to partner with prestigious universities for the introduction of courses with a focus on stone. This year’s exhibition, showcased works by students of Politecnico di Bari, G. Chieti Pescara D’ Annunzio University, Roma La Sapienza University, IUAV University of Venice, and The Fine Arts Academy of Verona.
Award After Award at Marmomac
The Marmomac Icon Award 2018 was assigned to “Maera” based on the unanimous decision of Chrstiano Seganfreddo, Chiara Alessi, and Veronica Giado, as part of the Marmomac 2019 communication campaign. Its designer, Elena Salmistraro’s desire to interpret the intricate relationship between boldness and skill through a stone bathtub and sink, is what earned her this acclaim. Her powerful project has both an iconic and mature stance – in that it echoes both classical and post-modern design where contemporary lines meet primeval figurative elements, and craftsmanship meets technical expertise. The winner of the Marmomac Icon Award 2019 will be announced for the fourth time at next year’s communication campaign. The Marmomac Stone Award – Archmarathon is an international architectural event hosted in collaboration with VeronaFiere Publicomm, and which brings design studios and guest architects from around the world together under one roof. This year’s winners included Emilio Tuñon for his “Casa Pierda en Caceres”, Dar Arafa Architecture for their “Bauna Mosque”, and Marco Ciarlo and Studio Daniele for their “House on the sea”, together with a special mention made to GOA for their “Muh Shoou XIXI”. The three winning projects will rightfully be among the candidates of the Archmarathon Awards
Worldwide Edition 2020, which will be held in Moscow in 2020. Last but not least, the winners of this year’s “Mastro della Pietra” award, which acknowledges those whose work as a whole has made tremendous contributions and brought success both to the stone sector as well as local economies, included the founders of Ito Design, Setsu and Shinobu Ito, Ute Wilkonson, and the president of ADL International, Donato Larizza.