The fourth edition of Marmomacc Meets Design (MMD) will be held in conjunction with Marmomacc 2010, in Verona, Italy, from September 29 to October 2. The theme for 2010 is “Irregular and Exceptional,” as organizer Veronafiere pairs architects and designers with stone suppliers. Last year, Craig Copeland and Turan Duda’s collaboration with Henraux marked the first time that American architects have participated in MMD.

The fourth edition of Marmomacc Meets Design (MMD) will be held in conjunction with Marmomacc 2010, in Verona, Italy, from September 29 to October 2. Building on the success of previous editions, MMD returns with a new theme and a slight twist on the traditional format.

The theme for 2010 is “Irregular and Exceptional,” as organizer Veronafiere is looking to reflect trends in style and culture. “Globalization and cultural pluralism are driving the search for that which is distinct, yet at the same can be personalized and easily identified with,” stated Veronafiere. “This phenomenon has impacted materials as well. Materials that express symmetry, rigor, uniformity and predictability appear increasingly anachronistic. Natural materials such as stone and wood are increasingly being rediscovered as alternatives to artificial materials because of their irregularity and expressive potential.

“‘Irregular’ thus relates to the atypical nature of stone, with its visual and sensorial unevenness,” Veronafiere continued. “This concept virtually celebrates the unfinished nature of artisanal approaches that mimic characteristics of unprocessed stone. ‘Exceptional’ refers to the unique and singular nature of stone, which allows users of this material to abandon the reassuring and logical forms of geometry for the communicative impact of emotion.”

In terms of format, past collaboration saw an architect or designer joining forces with a stone company to develop a stone prototype reflecting the chosen theme. This year, two of the 10 projects will have a regional or municipal scope:

• Riccardo Blumer, in conjunction with the Architecture Academy of Mendrisio, Switzerland, and the Consorzio Marmisti Bresciani, will create “urban furnishings” in Botticino stone for the nearby city of Varese.

• Sistema Puglia, a promotional agency for the Apulia Region, will collaborate with four young, well-known designers - Philippe Nigro, Stefan Diez, Tomàs Alonso and Luca Nichetto - each of whom will work with a different stone from Apulia.

The goal of MMD is to stimulate innovative uses and applications of marble and other natural stone materials. Other designer/stone company pairings for MMD 2010 include: Patricia Urquiola with Budri; Luca Scacchetti with Finstone S.A.R.L.; Aldo Cibic with Grassi Pietre; Giovanni Vragnaz with Iaconcig; Thomas Sandell with Marsotto; Marco Piva with MGM Furnari; Manuel Aires Mateus with Pibamarmi; and Enrico and Viola Tonucci with Stonehenge.

Also part of the 2009 program, stone supplier Iaconcig collaborated with Giovanni Vragnaz and Studio Modland for an award-winning booth design, which was bestowed because the surface treatment of the stone transformed it into an “architectural element.”

Quarry Reclamation: Exhibit and Roundtable on Innovation

Also of interest to both stone industry members and design professionals, Marmomacc will focus on the recovery for former quarry sites. While quarry reclamation has become an increasingly important issue as the stone sector strives to implement sustainable practices, it is a topic that Marmomacc has been highlighting for some time. For example, during Marmomacc 2000, the show hosted an exhibit entitled “New Stone Landscapes.”

Marmomacc 2010 will feature a roundtable to explore the most interesting trends of the last 10 years and the evolving regulatory framework. The focus will be less on traditional approaches to reclamation, such as returning the landscape to its pre-quarrying state, or the use of specific techniques such as terracing, tree-planting etc. The goal will be to highlight innovative approaches involving landscape architects, botanists and artists, which seek to transform the quarry and surrounding area to create original new architectural spaces and landscapes such as parks, museums, event venues and even land art.

An exhibit on the most creative quarry reclamation projects of the last 10 years in Italy, Spain, France, Greece, the U.K. and the Scandinavian countries, will feature images, scale models and videos of significant projects at the various stages of reclamation. Marmomacc will also print a bilingual catalogue to document these works.