„With real ceramic or real stone (instead of cheap copies), we would probably live in better architectures”

Pibamarmi’s booth at Cersaie 2017. Photo: Pibamarmi

Damiano Steccanella, owner of Pibamarmi, used the company’s booth at Cersaie 2017 to initiate a discussion about material authenticity

In the last years, imitations of natural stone by ceramics or engineered stone have become bigger in size and better in copy quality. Damiano Steccanella from Italian stone company Pibamarmi made the conflict between original and copy the motto of the company’s booth at 2017 Cersaie in Bologna: „Stop Fake – Use the original“ (or „Stop Fake – Choose Natural” respectively as shown on the photo). Cersaie in Bologna is a leading fair for ceramic tiles and bathroom furnishings. Stone-Ideas.com spoke with him about challenging the lion in its den.

Stone-Ideas.com: The motto of your booth at Cersaie was „Stop Fake – Use the original“. Whom this message was addressed to?

Damiano Steccanella: I was addressing a wide audience: architects, designers, and competitors too. Although contemporary age is characterized by digital dematerialization, it is also very interested in materials and their natural qualities. If everyone produced and used real ceramic or real stone, we would probably live in better architectures.

Stone-Ideas.com: Some say it must be forbidden that the ceramic industry produces imitations of natural stone. What is your opinion?

Damiano Steccanella: I don’t think that in this global world we can face the issue with restricting laws or bans. It is rather a problem of projecting and productive culture: the solution should be a new awareness coming from the dialogue among different stakeholders in this industry. Our though-provoking motto at Cersaie was intended to obtain this result.

Damiano Steccanella (3rd from left) at Marmomacc 2011 together with Kjetil Thorsen (far left) from Snøhetta architects who had designed Pibamarmi’s booth for Marmomacc Meets Design. Photo: Veronafiere

Stone-Ideas.com: In your eyes, which strategy to fight material imitations can be successful: to talk bad about the imitations or to underline the positive aspects and values of natural stone?

Damiano Steccanella: Stressing the peculiar and positive aspects of natural stones is certainly a way. They offer architects and designers an incredibly rich variety of applications and aesthetic qualities worth to be explored and included in the contemporary projecting culture.

Stone-Ideas.com: Was there any reaction to your message at Cersaie?

Damiano Steccanella: All the visitors were stunned by it. It was a playful moment that made a lot of people think not only about the materials of the spaces we live in but also about the triviality of the contemporary world. It led to a wider reflection on the superficial aspects of our looks, our wardrobes or our bodies.


Showing the marble as a material of beauty: Pibamarmi presented the newest collection „Desco“ of designer Vittorio Longheu (we will report in one of our next issues). Photo: Pibamarmi

(06.11.2017, USA: 11.06.2017)