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New ceramics exhibition at RIBA North

RIBA North opens its second exhibition, Cerámica, showcasing the future use of ceramics and technology in architecture.

17 August 2017

On Saturday 28 October RIBA North, the RIBA’s new national architecture centre on the Liverpool Waterfront, opens its second exhibition, Cerámica, showcasing the future use of ceramics and technology in architecture.

Image of the prototype ceiling courtesy of ECALab.

Cerámica will show how traditional ceramic techniques and digital engineering processes can be used together to produce more meaningful and sustainable architectural elements. Using new technologies, British and international ceramicists have created a series of ceramic ceilings and walls that show different vernacular languages, reflecting local heritage and identity. Highlights of the exhibition include full-scale prototypes of light-diffusing facades and ceilings.

Director of RIBA North, Suzy Jones, said:

“This exhibition looks at the future of architectural elements and combines the best aspects of global connectivity and digital capabilities with local craftsmanship. Ceilings, facades and walls may seem rather banal, but this exhibition showcases how we could inject beautiful, hand crafted products into our buildings and spaces.”

The exhibition is supported by the Tile of Spain-ICEX (Spanish Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers – Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade) along with Liverpool University and Leeds Beckett University, it is intended that the outcomes from this exhibition will inform the development of viable architectural products.

The exhibition features full-scale prototypes of light-diffusing facades and ceilings, accompanied by a film explaining the experimental design methodologies explored at the ECAlab (Environmental Ceramics for Architecture Laboratory). The exhibition will be supported by the Moulding Futures Symposium in December, to discuss prospective scenarios and futures for ceramics within architecture.

Professor Stuart Walker, world leading professor of design for sustainability says: “Design for sustainability demands a new outlook, a new way of seeing ourselves in relation to the world. It requires not only a rediscovery of local knowledge, practices, materials and forms but also a sharing of best practices and innovative possibilities through the opportunities offered by modern digital and communication technologies. Such technologies enable hitherto unachievable possibilities for local-scale making, efficient use of materials, and sophisticated local solutions. We are at the beginning of a new era, one limited only by the human imagination. The Cerámica exhibition offers an inspiring vision of this potential future.”


For press enquiries please contact: the RIBA Press Office: 020 7580 5533

About RIBA North

RIBA North’s City Gallery is a space for visitors to learn more about Liverpool’s past present and future, as well as the processes involved in urban development and the evolution of the built environment. The Gallery includes the Digital City Model, an interactive 3d model which tells a variety of stories about Liverpool and the surrounding area. It is also an extraordinary professional tool, which can be used by developers, architects and planners to host public consultations, anticipate the impact of future development, and encourage the best design approaches.

RIBA North is a new national architecture centre and cultural destination on the waterfront in Liverpool. At the heart of RIBA North is the purpose built gallery space, which hosts a bold programme of temporary exhibitions, showcasing new and innovative approaches to architectural practice as well as the historic RIBA Collections, the nation’s richest resource of architecture drawings, photographs and prints, dating from the late 15th century to the present day. There are also architectural city tours, workshops for young people and children, a selection of talks and debates and a new café and shop. The centre is situated in Mann Island, a building designed by Matt Brook of Broadway Malyan which won a RIBA North West award in 2015.


RIBA is a registered charity and it relies on the generosity of individuals, companies, trusts and foundations to preserve its world-class collections, to maintain free public access to its exhibitions and develop a diverse and exciting public events programme.

The exhibition ‘Cerámica’ and the symposium ‘Moulding Futures’ is supported by Leeds Beckett University, ECAlab, ICEX, University of Liverpool, Tile of Spain, LITE, Liverpool Hope University, Glyndwr University and Quinta de Mosteirô.

RIBA North is supported by Allgoods, Broadway Malyan, C&C Baseline, Dolphin, Dyson, Erco, Hansgrohe, Laufen, Loft International, Marshalls and Vitra.

The Digital City Model is funded by a unique partnership which brings together expertise from the RIBA, Arup, Hobs Reprographics Liverpool City Council, Ordinance Survey, Peel Wirral Waters, Simon Mabey, Wirral Borough Council, and 401.

RIBA North was designed by Matt Brook of Broadway Malyan. Matt was Architect for Mann Island and also part of the strategic team who created the vision for the centre.

The RIBA North architecture centre is also the home for the RIBA’s regional staff team based in the North West.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund: Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported.

About the RIBA: The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is a global professional membership body that serves its members and society in order to deliver better buildings and places, stronger communities and a sustainable environment.

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Listing details

Title: Cerámica
Dates: 28 October 2017 to 10 February 2018
Opening Times: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm; closed on Sundays and Mondays
Address: Mann Island, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool L3 1BP
Hashtag: #RIBANorth
Twitter: @RIBANorth
Instagram: @riba

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