Confindustria Ceramica (the Italian Association of Ceramics) and the Italian Trade Agency are proud to announce the official call for entries for the 2020 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition. Now in its 27th year, the competition recognizes top North American architecture and design firms and design students for their creative use of Italian ceramic and porcelain tile. Winning projects will exemplify top-quality design and demonstrate the superior technical and aesthetic qualities of Italian tile. An international jury of design experts will ultimately select winners in four categories: Residential, Commercial, Institutional, and Student. In a new initiative this year, Ceramics of Italy is pleased to introduce the inaugural People’s Choice Award, which will be elected by the public.

Projects in the three built categories – Residential, Commercial and Institutional – must be designed by architects and designers based in North America and completed between January 2015 and January 2020. Projects may be domestic or international, and must feature a significant amount of Italian ceramic or porcelain tile produced by Ceramics of Italy member companies. All styles and scales of projects will be considered, from multi-family housing and hospitality projects to outdoor spaces and exterior façades. The jury’s official criteria includes: the overall design of the project; the aesthetic and technical quality of the tile installation; the degree to which tile enhances the setting; and the project’s sustainable attributes.

The jury will once again review submissions from North American design and architecture students who create imaginative spaces using Italian tile. Individuals or groups of students are invited to submit their projects in the form of renderings, floor plans and sketches. Students must be enrolled in an accredited university in North America.

This year, the competition will incorporate a new public voting component, which will help determine the first ever People’s Choice Award. Through Submittable, an application management platform, Ceramics of Italy will invite the public to vote on their favorite project submissions. The project that has received the most votes by February 15 will be recognized as the winner of the People’s Choice Award and receive a trip to Italy for Cersaie 2020 in Bologna, Italy.

Winners will be notified in March and officially announced at the Ceramics of Italy International Press Conference at Coverings - North America’s premier tile and stone trade show taking place in New Orleans, LA from April 20-23, 2020. For built projects selected by the jury, the prize package includes $2,000 cash, an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans for Coverings to present their project, plus a 5-day CEU-accredited trip to Bologna, Italy to attend Cersaie – the world’s largest exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings – with a delegation of top design media. An additional $1,000 will be awarded to the contractor/distributor team involved in each winning project. The winning student entry will receive an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans to present their project in front of a large audience of media, manufacturers and tile industry professionals at Coverings 2020.

The built project winners of the 2019 Tile Competition included: DI Group for their use of tile to create a luxurious villa in Encino, CA; an eight-story mixed-use residential building by SWA Architecture, which demonstrates endless application possibilities and features porcelain tile throughout; tvsdesign for their extensive use of high-performance tile in the world’s first LEED Platinum professional sports stadium; and Snøhetta’s tile-clad community library. The student winner was Aylin Askarihosseini from the Visual College of Art and Design (VCAD).

The competition guidelines, submission form and an archive of beautiful winning projects from the past 26 years can be found on the Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition website, There is no fee to enter and multiple submissions are accepted. 

The deadline for entries has been extended to January 31, 2020.