CHICAGO, IL -- The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) in conjunction with the Chicago Architecture Biennial as an affiliate partner, is proud to present Spotlight on Italian Innovation and Sustainability – Design Series, a program of business-to-business meetings between U.S. based architects and designers who have a vested interest in Italian ceramic tiles and marble. The two-day series will take place on October 26 to October 27 at The Langham Chicago. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one consultations with select Italian suppliers invited to Chicago by the ITA, as well as attend various events, including two educational luncheons.

"We are thrilled to have entered into a partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial during such a profound and impactful time for the architecture and design community," said ITA Chicago's trade commissioner, Matteo Picariello. "The Italian companies that are joining us in Chicago during the B2B program are Italy's premier suppliers of Italian marble and ceramic tile. They represent the best of the best, and we are ecstatic to be able to connect them with top architects and designers from around the U.S."

This B2B program will provide participants with the chance to make meaningful and relevant connections while gathering in-depth information on the newest materials and innovations in Italian ceramic tiles and marble. Participating Italian suppliers of ceramic tile are: Altaeco Industrial Group, Atlas Concorde, Casalgrande Padana, Ceramiche Caesar, Ceramiche Settecento, Ceramiche Fioranese, Emilceramica, Cisa Ceramiche, Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola, MIPA SRL, Fincibec Group, Florim Ceramiche Spa, Ornamenta, Refin Ceramiche, Panaria Group / Lea Ceramiche, Settecento Ceramica, SIMAS and Target SRL.

Participating Italian suppliers of marble are: Antony Architectural Stone, GammaStone, GDA Marmi, Marini Marmi, Ghirardi Stone Contractors, Grassi Pietre, Marmi Faedo, Marmi Bruno Zanet, Pepe & Con SRL Mosaico Digitale, Serino Marmi, Porfido Trentino, S.O.F.I.L. Lo Bianco, Zanet, Stone Way and Succetti Luciano.

Two significant programs are the luncheons taking place over the course of the B2B meetings, both of which are open to participating architects and those in the Chicago area who are interested in attending. On October 26, the ITA will present Sustainability of Today in Contemporary Design, featuring famed Italian architect, Massimo Iosa Ghini. On October 27, the ITA will host two guest speakers. Mario Cucinella will speak on From Design to Architecture and Aldo Cibic will discuss Working Stone at Different Scale.

An additional feature to ITA's Spotlight on Italian Innovation and Sustainability program includes exhibitions, lectures and film screenings related to the advancements and achievements of Italian architecture. Key events that are open to the public include Building the Expo Milano 2015 Exhibition at Eataly Chicago (October 14th to 26th) and Spotlight: Architecture + Space + Design at the Chicago International Film Festival at the AMC River East 21 (October 15th to 29th).