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Sparking Change: Roca at Furiosalone

Apr 19, 2024

For the 2024 edition of Milan Design Week, Roca showcases their company-wide initiatives for decarbonation and circularity with an installation titled “Sparking Change”, designed by Mario Cucinella Architects.

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Text by TLmag

For the 2024 edition of Milan Design Week, Roca showcases their company-wide initiatives for decarbonation and circularity with an installation titled “Sparking Change”, designed and conceived by Mario Cucinella Architects. Part of the Furiosalone, the installation, located in a corner of the patio of the University of Milan, features over 1200 uniquely coloured 3-D printed ceramic blocks, which are meant to represent the progressive operating temperatures of the ceramic firing process.

Roca recently partnered with German kiln manufacturer, Keramischer OFENBAU to become the first sanitaryware company to move towards having a net-zero sanitary ceramics production plant. Not only is this an important step for the sector, but for other ceramic production sites as well, from construction to tableware. Roca has set a 2045 date to become carbon neutral, and their investment in this electric tunnel kiln, located at their Laufen plant in Gmunden, Austria, is a major move towards that goal.

“Sparking Change” measures 4.5 meters high, and is a semi-circular construction using modular ceramic building blocks that feature a gradient of blue, yellow, orange and red hues tops. The installation is very architectural, from a distance it looks like a maquette for a stylish Mediterranean housing community, but the sturdy bricks and their arrangement also lend to offering spaces for people to sit and rest, have a conversation and get into the details of the project. “’Sparking Change’ underscores Roca’s commitment to sustainability in a unique installation that demonstrates how knowledge, experience, and technology have led Roca to develop the greatest innovation within the sector,” explains Marc Viardot, Roca Group’s Marketing and Design Director. Each block that makes up the project is produced with a low-environmental impact process, using a combination of virgin clay and recycled ceramics from the production of bathroom components. This provides an exciting counterpart to Roca’s commitment to recycling old ceramic sanitaryware as part of their carbon-neutral initiatives. The installation’s easy disassembly allows for potential re-use of the blocks in future events. “’Sparking Change highlights an innovative technique that respects the environment and enhances tradition; further, it is tangible evidence that technology and digital tools are no longer merely instruments for creating but also for stimulating new ideas.” says Mario Cucinella, Founder & Design Director of MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects.

In addition to the physical installation, visitors are invited to go into the virtual world as well through a web augmented reality feature that creates an interactive journey to discover the benefits of Roca’s innovative electric tunnel kiln.

“Sparking Change” will be on view at Furiosalone through April 28th, 2024. For more information visit the Roca website.

www.roca.com

@roca_global

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"Sparking Change", designed by Maria Cucinella Architects for Roca
"Sparking Change", designed by Maria Cucinella Architects for Roca
"Sparking Change", designed by Maria Cucinella Architects for Roca
"Sparking Change", designed by Maria Cucinella Architects for Roca
Roca's new Electric Kiln at the Laufen plant in Austria
Mario Cucinella, Photo: Julius Hirtzberger
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