DNA Ceramics. Designing the Mediterranean, enhancing the value of Mediterranean ceramics

10 Mar 2021 /

DNA Ceramics. Designing the Mediterranean, enhancing the value of Mediterranean ceramics


Mapping and locating professional craftsmen and women who, with their work, contribute to increasing the value of design through ceramics throughout the Valencian region. This is one of the main aims of DNA Ceramics. Designing the Mediterranean, a project by World Design Capital Valencia 2022 directed by the ceramist Ana Illueca and implemented thanks to the support of the Valencian Institute for Business Competitiveness (IVACE).

This initiative, which is developed in various stages and will culminate in 2022, sets out to strengthen the reputation and prestige of Mediterranean design through one of its great historical legacies: ceramics. This knowledge has been held in our region for centuries and is still firmly rooted in artisan techniques, generating a differential value that is identified all along the Mediterranean coast thanks to the meaning of its design.

This initiative sets out to strengthen the reputation and prestige of Mediterranean design through one of its great historical legacies: ceramics.

Precision, mastery, craft and legacy are some of the identifying features that define Mediterranean ceramics, together with design, its channel for the generation of unique pieces, growing from the creative roots of its own style, inherited and transmitted over the centuries by artisans. To place value on these figures, their creative processes, their influences and their work are some of the aims sought by this project, which sets out to proclaim craftsmanship as a value inherent to the Mediterranean and to broadcast it beyond our borders.

To build this position, the project will be developed in several stages. The first stage consists of drawing up a map of those professional ceramists who have contributed (and continue to do so) to setting Valencian design apart thanks to its relationship with ceramics. To this end, a committee of experts will define the criteria for selection of the professionals, who will be able to register as candidates online until 10 March.

Drawing up a map of those professional ceramists who have contributed (and continue to do so) to setting Valencian design apart

A group of experts will select those professionals who, with their work, have contributed value and personality to Valencian design, professionals who will be recognised as representing and giving voice to this Mediterranean design in the world. Figures such as the ceramists Xavier Monsalvatje, Juan Ortí, Arturo Mora, Encarna Soler, Pepe Royo, Eugenia Boscá and Ana illueca, the professor of architectural projects Rosa Urbano, trend consultant Juan Carlos Santos, design researcher Marisa Santamaría and product designer Inma Bermúdez. The entire project will be endorsed by the director of the González Martí National Museum of Ceramics, Jaume Coll, who is the director of the committee of experts.

The collection and subsequent mapping of the data will take place via a website, www.adnceramico.com, which will later serve as a reference and contact point for professionals, so that designers, companies and artisans can benefit from this knowledge to continue collaborating and adding innovation through ceramics. Furthermore, the project will shed light on the current status of the ceramics sector in the Valencian Community, since data will be compiled through the website itself, where the participating ceramists will be asked to supply details of their current work.

The visual identity and the website at the heart of the project have been designed by Pixelarte, a graphic design studio based in Valencia and managed by Jorge Timoteo. Pixelarte specialises in corporate branding and has been creating memorable and functional brands for national and international companies since 2004. The design challenge in this project has been to bring together in one image the diversity of ceramic styles, the centuries of knowledge and the innovation of a material that is so very much our own.

In the second stage, the DNA Ceramics project will give visibility to the role of ceramics in its contribution to design. Audiovisual interviews and content capsules will show the work of craftsmen and women and their particular style, to contribute to design by generating a stratum of knowledge that can withstand the passing of time. To this end, visits to the workshops will serve to explain their working techniques and their intimate relationship with design.

After the mapping and visibility process, DNA Ceramics aims to generate innovative collisions between contemporary ceramics artists and industry. Creative collisions that will result in innovative products thanks to the design applied in collaboration with ceramics companies throughout Valencia and the rest of the Mediterranean coast. In a territory where the ceramics industry is the second most important in the world, these synergies will generate new forms of interrelationship that will reinforce the presence of the sector, and the international appreciation of Valencian craftsmanship throughout the world.

All of these activities will culminate internationally in 2022 through exhibitions and meetings.

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