xMiscellen(October 2009) Opportunities for the natural stone industry could lie in the „Incheon Free Economic Zone“ in South-Korea; Norman Foster drew up the Master plan for the region. The buildings in the 300 km² Industrial Park near Seoul, are to be built predominantly using organic or recyclable material.

How to implement polymer coatings to protect porous or delicate natural stone surfaces for flooring. That is the subject of a research project in Spain (Spanish).

Some special events will take place during the new fair Kamien-Stone in Poznan in Poland from 4th until 7th of November. One is the Stone Panel being a seminar devoted to new stone processing technologies. In a Sculptor’s Workshop, practical skills of a master of this profession will be presented. Live mosaic laying shows will also provide much valuable experience. An exhibition will show modern design-ideas inspired by the old style of the renaissance-architect Andrea Palladio.

Building bridges between local stone industry and tourism is an idea meant to counteract the effects of the economic crisis affecting the stone branch in Alicante in Spain. The project bears the title „The Culture of Marble“ (Spanish) and will take visitors on tours through quarries and to an information centre where documentation on Crema Marfil will be available. Not only foreign tourists are the target group for this project. It is hoped that Spanish tourists as well will take interest.

A 9 m stone pilar was erected by the artist Tadas Gutauskas (1, 2) in the Lithuanian Capital, Vilnius. The piece symbolizes the history and identity of this small Baltic State. Vilnius is this year’s cultural capital of Europe. In close vicinity in the Euro-Park more than 100 sculptures are exhibited.

Perported health hazards caused by granite is an ongoring topic of discussion in the USA, according to the Marble Institute of America. This time around the theme is radioactive emmission in stone dust to which workers in stone masonries and related industry may be exposed.

A PC mouse made of stone was designed by a Russian design studio. The logo of this years’ Marmomacc fair was a biface, morphing into a mouse.

A bicycle seat made of Canadian granite for real he-men requires interested parties tongue-in-cheek to enclose a blood sample when placing an order – to prove that their testosterone levels are high enough to withstand and justify purchase of the seat.

Artificial alabaster made in Taiwan is a special plaster (Gesso). It was awarded the current IF-Design-Awards from Germany.

Video of the month: stone-breaking in Tanzania.