Bologna, Italy, is in final preparation for tile industry members from around the world to gather next week for Cersaie – the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings. The exhibition, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is slated for Monday, September 25 to 29, 2023 and will feature the most innovative products, cutting-edge materials, original shapes and the latest technologies for architectural design presented in preview by the most important companies in the sector.

Emilio Mussini, vice president of Confindustria Ceramica, the Italian Association of Ceramics, shares insight into the upcoming exhibition.

This year is the 40th anniversary of Cersaie. How has the exhibition changed over the years?

EM: Cersaie has evolved constantly over these 40 years in close step with the development of its product sectors. Originally conceived as an international trade fair aimed at bringing ceramic tile and bathroom furniture manufacturers into contact with the world of distribution, in the last 20 years or so it has broadened its scope to include the world of architecture and design, which have become important fields of application for the show’s products. Alongside the products showcased by exhibitor companies, Cersaie has also developed a packed program of cultural events, such as the Building Dwelling Thinking conferences. 

Is there anything special planned to celebrate the anniversary?

EM: Route 40, an exhibition curated by Davide Vercelli and Dario Curatolo, highlights products that have represented major milestones in the development of technology and aesthetics over the past 40 years. Divided into individual decades, the exhibition trail focuses in particular on the evolution of creative versatility and attention to sustainability.

Could you give us a few reasons why someone in the tile and design industries should attend Cersaie?

EM: Cersaie has always been an important global event where the world’s ceramic tile and bathroom furnishing companies have the opportunity to showcase their products to international buyers. It is a launch pad for new trends that are subsequently adopted by the market and become global in scale.

Are there any specific tile trends you are noticing for this fall?

EM: Rather than any specific trends, the enormous versatility of ceramic tile means that producer companies are able to interpret them in the most innovative and novel ways. We are sure to see plenty of large-format tiles and slabs, while sustainability will also be a major focus of attention for exhibitors.

Are you expecting a good turnout at this year’s exhibition?

EM: With 634 exhibitors, including 39% non-Italian companies from 26 different countries, the outlook for this 40th edition is excellent. We are expecting to see attendance return to more than 100,000 visitors after exceeding 91,000 last year.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about the upcoming show?

EM: Mario Cucinella’s “The Ideal City,” the concept designed for the Italian and Holy See Pavilion at Expo 2015 Osaka, will be presented at a conference held at Cersaie. This high-profile conference will explore the Italian vision of the cities of the future in terms of architecture, urban planning and the quality of relationships between inhabitants.