DIARAMA BY MUTINA AND WIDE&STYLE BY ABK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT NOVELTIES IN THE WORLD OF CLADDINGS. OUR CONSULTANT FRANCESCA PRESENTS THEM TO US.
We are in the midst of a real revolution in the field of cladding. We have the courage to dare: in colours, which must be surprising, and in dimensions, which allow us to think in a new way.
Mutina and ABK are the absolute protagonists in this. They start from the idea of offering a design product and make it possible through the search for beauty and with new technological solutions.
Our consultant Francesca accompanies us in discovering the latest proposals of the two Italian companies.
Q: Ceramics have always played a fundamental role in “thinking” about the home. What are the characteristics that a wall covering must have today?
The link between the home and ceramics has a unique place in history. Tiles, or rather wall coverings, are the first domestic product associated with a functional and decorative aspect.
The evolution of this sector today requires innovation, flexibility, creativity, decoration and modularity. The wall covering must be the means to transform every room into something unique.
Q: These are characteristics that people who design their new home always look for.
Exactly. I’ll give you an example: I trained professionally in an architectural firm, and do you know what I observed? Over the years, there has been more and more attention paid to customising coverings. People are looking for solutions that create something inimitable and that are able to express the identity of those who choose them.
Q: Which companies embody this proposal more than others?
Certainly the Made in Italy brands pay particular attention to these requirements. Today we find them in Mutina’s Diarama collection and ABK’s Wide&Style. Their proposals, in terms of colours and versatility of size, are able to unleash the creativity of designers.
Q: Diarama is the result of a collaboration with HellaJongerius.
In 2018 Mutina asked the great Dutch designer to design a porcelain stoneware collection that would reflect her style. Jongerius is known for her continuous research on colours and materials and for her ability to blend tradition and contemporaneity. The result is a product with a strong individuality that incorporates handcrafted elements within the industrial process.
The Diarama collection was born from this: a study of pure colour born from the desire to give life to a wide range of shades in a natural and casual way. Jongerius used the tiles as if they were canvases, studying how different bodies of coloured clay would react when the same glaze was applied to them. The aim was to make the surface look not just coloured but mixed, as in oil painting.
Q: So this collection is also the result of intense research into materials.
Behind Diarama there is a complex study of how colours react on different materials depending on the combination of paste and enamel.
The glaze is applied to different ceramic surfaces with 7 coloured clay and matt bases. Reacting differently depending on the bases, the glaze creates a range of ever new shades that have been classified into two macro groups called Light and Dark.
The collection is completed by Diarama Black and White. Here, the enamel applied on the 7 bases is black, Iron, white or Chalk. When used together, however, the result is Dusk, the black&white combination.
Finally, in Diarama Mix, the opposite is true: different colours of glaze are applied to the same black or grey base, resulting in Black Chroma and Grey Chroma.
In the centre of all the tiles, there is always a strip of unglazed coloured clay which contrasts with the glossy surface.
The collection is produced in a smart format of 9.4 x 18.7 cm. Just the right size for experimenting with different combinations.
Q: So a totally different dimension to ABK’s Wide&Style.
Yes, but with the same objective: to accompany the architect or interior designer on a successful creative path.
With Wide&Style, porcelain stoneware meets new dimensions. It is available in both 160x320cm and 120x240cm formats, with thicknesses of 6 and 7 mm.
Q: Is innovation only in the dimensions?
It is actually the size that brings innovation. With this collection, ABK has gone beyond the traditional concept of wall coverings, making it the protagonist in every space.
In fact, “Walldecor” means reducing the visual perception of joints, for an idea of ceramics that goes beyond the tile. The large slabs are like a blank sheet of paper in the hands of designers who can think up sophisticated and heterogeneous applications. It is a collection that embraces every stylistic possibility with an always astonishing performance.
And then there is an embarrassment of riches: the graphic inspirations are many and inspired by naturalistic, retro, urban and industrial atmospheres, entirely realised with latest generation digital decoration on porcelain stoneware.
Q: And they are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.
Sure. The technical characteristics of Wide&Style allow it to be applied to walls both indoors and outdoors, making this range an innovative form of expression both for residential architecture (bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms) and for the design of public or commercial spaces (lounge bars, restaurants, shops).