Marmomacc: More International Than Ever

Internationality, architecture and design, company services. These are the keywords of the 43rd edition of Marmomacc, the International Natural Stone, Design and Technology Exhibition scheduled 2-5 October at VeronaFiere - the annual reference appointment for the stone industry - that in Italy alone boasts 60 thousand employees and more than 11 thousand companies (industrial and small business) worth 4 billion euro (source: Marmomacc Observatory analysis of Verona Chamber of Commerce data, 2007).

Following the record-breaking edition last year which attracted more than 1500 exhibitors (half of whom international from 50 countries) and 65 thousand professional operators (including 26 thousand international visitors from 120 countries), the 2008 exhibition is set to confirm its leadership and welcomes new entries from Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Santo Domingo, Syria, Tanzania and Vietnam - so that the 75 thousand square metre show is already fully booked.

International attendance at Marmomacc 2008 especially includes "Stone from Spain", coordinated by "Federación de la Piedra Natural": the exhibition spaces involved in this initiative represent the excellence of stone production and technology from Spain over an area of more than 1000 square metres in Hall 7B, outside area D and Hall 3 for machinery.

International group attendance also includes: Iran, Portugal, Morocco and Croatia in Hall 11; Brazil in Halls 10 and 11; Turkey, France and Belgium in Hall 9; Egypt and Argentina in Hall 7B; Greece in the Arena Services Centre, in the gallery between halls 6 & 7; China in PalaExpo.

Marmomacc has become - over its forty years of history - the landmark appointment for the "marble system" in Italy and worldwide, thanks also agreements to international such as StonExpo/Marmomacc Americas. This strategic alliance not only expands leadership but also acknowledges and confirms the role of the VeronaFiere event as the driving force behind development in the natural stone field as well as the partner flanking companies engaged in competing on a globalised market that increasingly demands innovative responses for the point of view of natural stone applications.

Marmomacc - the International Natural Stone, Design and Technology Exhibition - took up this challenge many years ago to become a full-scale cultural "workshop" highlighting trends in construction and design worlds involving stone - and much more.

The exhibition at VeronaFiere, in short, equally promotes rewarding relationships with Universities - including Milan Polytechnic University, the Faculty of Architecture in Mantua, the Faculties of Architecture in Ferrara and Engineering in Trento - through active collaboration projects focusing on the creation of targeted courses involving awareness and design with stone that will be presented in a dedicated area in Hall 7B. The centres are also joined by the Faculties of Architecture at the Universities of Bari, Pescara and Texas Tech in Lubbock, USA, which have independently undertaken the same approach to training by taking part in educational exchange programmes with the other universities involved, thereby creating a network of knowledge and experience.

Cultural initiatives at the 43rd edition of Marmomacc (VeronaFiere, 2-5 October 2008) include the second edition of "Marmomacc Meets Design" - an innovative project focusing on prototypes developed by internationally famous companies and designers embracing new trends and applications of stone in homes and building.

Marmomacc Meets Design envisages guideline topics that will be developed every year. The 2007 edition focused on "The lightness of marble": a challenge to gravity and the very nature of stone. The designers tackled the topic with great freedom to interpret "lightness" not only in terms of weight, colour and luminosity but also in terms of sustainability – for example, by ensuring the least possible use of material. In fact, these designers played with stone and dimensional scales to reveal unexpected visual aspects and astonishing tactile qualities. "The Lightness of Marble" exhibition was also hosted 5 June - 13 July 2008 at the Milan Triennial, a cult centre for contemporary design, and attracted more than 3000 visitors; the exhibition will be repeated within the scope of Marmomacc 2-5 October.

This year's edition focuses on the topic of "Skin, Texture". This is a stimulating and unusual topic within the scope of design, since it is often merely associated with cladding of walls and pavings, or stone slabs used as furnishing tops. Yet the theme was not investigated only in terms of creative potential. For example, stone by its very nature adds a salient feature: the unique colour and veins found in specific quarry sites - the unique origin of the material - can nevertheless be incorporated in "repeatable" products.

There is also great interest in the "Best Communicator Award" section: this competition for exhibitors made its debut in 2007 and "rewards" the best stand; meanwhile, the Jury is already hard at work to select the winners of the Biennial International Stone Architecture Award - the competition held in high regard by designers all over the world which in 2009 celebrates twenty-two years and 11 editions. The awards will be assigned to architects and works of exemplary design quality, compositional features and expressive value in the use of stone materials in the international panorama.

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