More than 500 architects and designers from the U.S., United Arab Emirates, Bahamas, Italy, United Kingdom and China were educated more about Brazilian natural stones in the last 18 months. They were impacted by technical lectures held by a body of experts appointed by It's Natural - Brazilian Natural Stone, a project to encourage exports of Brazilian ornamental stones promoted by the Brazilian Center for Ornamental Stones Exporters (Centrorochas) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil).
The educational sessions took place in several cities on three continents: America, Asia and Europe. In the U.S., the cities of New York, NY; Las Vegas, NV; Tucson, AZ; and San Diego, CA; each hosted at least one edition of the event. The Bahamas archipelago hosted the team at a meeting held in Nassau. In the United Arab Emirates there were two presentations at different times, one held in Dubai during The Big 5, and the other in Abu Dhabi. Verona, Italy, and London, England, were also included in this first itinerary of presentations. In addition, a virtual presentation to Chinese specifiers was held.
Vice-president of Centrorochas, entrepreneur Fabio Cruz, mediated several meetings with the objective of promoting the potential of the stone sector to the international market. "It was a unique opportunity,” said Cruz. “Even being the world leader in geodiversity, Brazilian stones are always surprising. Whether by the size and potential of the market, the technological capacity of production or even the sustainability of the processes.”
More than 95% of all the water used in the production process is totally reused. In the Brazilian sector, the production residues are also used or destined to licensed deposits.
More than 1,200 varieties of stone
"One of the highlights of our presentations is when we show the giant diversity of Brazilian stones,” said international ornamental stones specifier Paulo Giafarov, who also conducted some presentations during the period highlighting the possibilities of use and creation with the Brazilian materials. “There is no doubt that our materials amaze with their colors, textures, patterns and finishing quality."
One of the professionals impacted by the presentations, the managing partner and design leader of BKV Group, from Chicago, Robert Muller, left the meeting inspired to use Brazilian stones in his projects. "It is unbelievable how many different and beautiful stones are available in Brazil,” he said. “It definitely opened my mind to new possibilities for how I can use them in my projects. There are so many possibilities and I hope that opportunities will arise in the future."
Rogério Ribeiro, the manager of the sectorial project, Vivian Coser, Brazilian architect and designer, and businessman Gonsalo Machado were also part of the technical staff of lectures throughout the period. At the beginning of the year, Centrorochas made a selection of professionals to add to the team of experts capable of promoting Brazilian natural stones and, soon, other names will be integrating these dissemination actions.
Getting to know the Brazilian sector
Fourth largest world producer and fifth largest exporter, Brazil has other initiatives to promote its natural stones, but in the opposite way. By inviting specifiers and international opinion makers to live an "Brazilian experience" associated to ornamental stones, It's Natural - Brazilian Natural Stone holds the program’s image and designer in Brazil. In these projects, internationally renowned journalists, architects and designers have the opportunity to visit quarries, industries and works made with stone, in addition to experiencing some of the Brazilian music and cuisine.
The award-winning North American architect Samuele Sordi, Pininfarina's chief architect for the Americas, was part of the group invited by the Brazilian stone program to get to know the national productive arrangement and also to visit the Vitoria Stone Fair -- one of the largest fairs of the segment in the Americas. He was impressed with the richness and uniqueness of Brazilian natural stones. "It was an incredible experience to get to know the uniqueness of Brazilian materials,” he said. “I didn't know much about it before I came here. Brazilian stones are very inspiring -- their colors, different nuances and textures. I am sure I will use it a lot in the future. It is something unexpected and unusual."
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