Ceramic Futures: From Poetry to Science Fiction

Ceramic Futures is an online/offline workshop between leading European design and art schools where groups of students were working locally offline and communicating all the process online in the Wordpress or Google Plus community. It is promoted by Confindustria Ceramica for Cersaie Fair where all the final works of students were exhibited.

Politecnico winners works:

1st edition schools: Schools Glasgow School of Art, Politecnico di Milano, Abadir Academy, IED Rome.

2nd edition schools: Accademia di Belle Arti di Bologna, École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), ELISAVA and Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi).

3rd edition schools: École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD), IED Torino, Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi)


Our approach in this 3 years was to explore the future scenarios through the ceramic medium. We were asking students to create objects which through their design and appearance would tell the story of the future in their selected topic, they would become artifacts that arrived to us through time.

For example: Ceramic Beach comes from the future where corals beaches don’t exist anymore due to extinction of corals, so the humanity uses smart way to recycle ceramics creating new nature. Mix of clay and food wastes is also for the scenario where we recycle resources consciously, augment the value through it and create new materials for new production technologies as ceramics 3d printing. Use of cyanotype on ceramics explores relation of material with light and human relations with images, its temporality and fragility aspects.

You can learn everything about our approach and some tools we developed — like Design Approach Patterns — in the small publication we created after the second year of CF:

Important part of Ceramic Futures process for us was to take it out of school environment, bringing people to work in different situation, where they can rebuild relations within the group and towards the works that they’re doing. So for example all the 3rd edition meetings were performed at the newly opened #nevicata14 island and the final presentation of works was performed also there:

What we are especially proud of in Ceramic Futures is how the community that was built kept all the connections together. Many of students continued to collaborate with us on other projects and we follow their personal development. They also were very active in peer tutoring bringing precious expertise in many different fields into the work.