Earlier this year, Italian ceramic tiles authority Florim relaunched historic brand CEDIT – Ceramiche d’Italia, unveiling a collection that marks a new chapter in the company’s history.
For the occasion, a group of Italian designers has explored CEDIT’s ceramic capabilities with a plethora of creative solutions for flat surfaces, that range from embossed concrete to iridescent treatments. Each new collection was shown on a diorama-like structure at the Spazio CEDIT in Milan. The first six studios to experiment with the surfaces were BRH+ (Barbara Brondi and Marco Rainò), Marco Casamonti of Archea Associati, Giorgio Griffa, Franco Guerzoni, Matteo Nunziati and Wallpaper* Handmade contributors Giorgia Zanellato and Daniele Bortotto, who offered new points of view on ceramic tiles, testing out materials and treatments.
The new collections include iridescent and metallic tiles by Casamonti, who intervened on the passivation processes of the metal to create moody surfaces. The series created by BRH+ explores the textures of cement, with different iterations arranged in modular compositions using bright shades for the grouting. Abstract painter Griffa applied his signature brush strokes to the surfaces, using the slabs as large canvases to create a series of paintings. Guerzoni, another contemporary artist, worked on the surface’s texture and pigmentation, creating a covering defined by a poetic crumbling effect. Architect Nunziati offered a more practical surface solution inspired by layers of exotic fabrics and decorations, while Zanellato and Bortotto referenced worn plastered walls in their design.
The brand relaunch and these collections present the diverse possibilities of CEDIT and are testament to its open stance on design, but the company’s present and its future are directly informed by its illustrious past. Founded in the 1950s, it was given a no-nonsense name (an acronym which stands for ‘Ceramics of Italy’) and offered an innovative and radical approach to surfaces. From the 1950s until the 1990s, the company collaborated with some of the most illustrious design names of the era. Alessandro Mendini, Ettore Sottsass and Bob Noorda, among others, were part of the ever-growing tile designs portfolio, and CEDIT also enlisted Marco Zanuso to create installations for the Milan shop as well as tiles for the company. These largely forgotten collections remain a hidden, treasured heritage for CEDIT, as it continues to combine research and innovation with contemporary art and design.