November 5, 2004

Master in Ceramic Design

Attese Biennale di Ceramica nell’Arte Contemporanea

The Ceramic District in the Province of Savona

This Ceramic District has a high concentration of small craftsman-based enterprises that have been producing ceramics for five centuries. In the twentieth century, in addition to reproducing the traditionalistic concept of “objects in style”, local ceramic products became the specific artistic expression that, since the 1920s, has made this district an international art capital of Europe. Internationally renowned artists, architects and designers have worked with skilled local craftsmen to create their works, including Nicolai Diulgheroff, Fortunato Depero, Lucio Fontana, Asger Jorn, Guy Debord, Wifredo Lam, Karel Appel, Corneille, Pinot Gallizio and Piero Manzoni.


The master program considers ceramic craftsmanship as a context of experimentation. The objective is to provide students with the cultural means and design methodologies needed to re-elaborate the ceramic tradition through a dynamic and ever-changing approach. For this purpose, the training program will combine the modern “culture of the project” with the specific features of ceramic craftsmanship.

Professional Figure

The Ceramic Designer is a specialised professional figure that carries out design activities in relation to local production contexts, with particular attention focused on innovation and evolution of the ceramic sector. This figure will have the professional skills to design a ceramic object, actively cooperating with the ceramist while considering the project in its entirety: from the concept to modelling, and from knowledge of technologies and materials to a control of processes and activities. The Ceramic Designer‘s main operating contexts are the professional design office, the enterprise and the ceramic laboratory.

Educational methodology

The educational method combines design courses taught by internationally renowned designers and artists, ceramic production laboratories organized in the local ceramist enterprises, and classroom lessons.

The activities are structured in a way that is similar to the methods implemented in a design office equipped with the most advanced 2D and 3D modelling software and ceramic technologies to produce prototypes and small specially-designed series.

In this educational phase, students will acquire design skills, managerial abilities and the technical expertise needed to become actively and knowledgeably involved in the ceramic design activity.

Trainee work period

The educational method will be supported by a trainee work period, thus creating an effective alternating training-work activity. Through this period, individual participants will acquire work experience in ceramic enterprises or design offices, museum institutions and leading publishers in the sector of interest operating in Italy and Europe.


The results of the design courses, ceramic technique laboratories, seminars and research projects, will be presented during the 3rd Biennial of Ceramics in Contemporary Art to be held in the autumn of 2005.

Content of main subjects

Design course for ceramics in urban furnishings

Andrea Branzi, architect, designer, professor, Faculty of Design, Polytechnic University, Milan

Creative design course for ceramics

Stefano Giovannoni, architect, designer, Milan

Design course for ceramics in artistic craftsmanship

Ugo La Pietra, architect, designer, Director, Dept. of Artistic Design for Enterprises, Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan

Design course for ceramics in contemporary art

Corrado Levi, artist, architect, writer, Milan

Explorations and mapping of the area of Albisola in relation to ceramics

Multiplicity, agency for territorial investigations, Milan

Morphological transformations of local ceramic objects

Pekka Harni, architect and designer. Professor at the University of Art and Design, Helsinki. Winner of the Design Plus Prize, Frankfurt Fair, 1999.

Culture and Enterprise in the Industrial Districts

Michelangelo Pistoletto (artist, Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto – Biella)

Giacinto di Pietrantonio (artistic director Gamec, Bergamo)

A Secret History of Clay: the status of clay as a material in modern and contemporary art

Simon Groom, Head of Exhibitions & Displays, Tate Gallery, Liverpool

Ceramics on the Move: local ceramics through transdisciplinary and transcultural exchanges

Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Curator for contemporary art at the Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Museology of Design and Contemporary Applied arts

Chantal Prod’Hom, Director, Mudac, Museum of design and contemporary applied arts, Lausanne

Objects of affection: relationships between persons, things and cultures in contemporary art

Massimiliano Gioni, artistic director, Nicola Trussardi foundation, Milan

Lectures by:

The following are designers invited to the 3rd edition of the Biennale of Ceramics in Contemporary Art that will open in the autumn of 2005.

Jurgen Bey, designer, Rotterdam

Florence Doleac, designer, Paris

Marti Guixe, ex-designer, Barcelona, Berlin

Joris Laarman, Designer of Laarman Laboratory, Utrecht

Franco Raggi, architect and designer, Milan

Denis Santachiara, designer, Milan

Candidates of the Master in Ceramic Design

15 unemployed university postgraduates.


– Degree in Architecture, Industrial Design, Academy of Fine Arts, Higher Institutes in the Artistic Sector or equivalent titles.

– Citizen of the European Union.

– Notions of the Italian language

– Knowledge of English is preferred.

– Aptitude tests will be administered to check the subjective requirements for participating in the Master program.


Candidates must submit a registration request, along with a curriculum vitae, to C.P.F.P. “F. Varaldo”. The request can also be mailed to Via Amendola 10 – Savona – Italy (the postage stamp cancellation date will be used as the time reference, provided that the requests are received prior to the beginning of the selection tests) or by e-mail to [email protected] by 12:00 noon on 11 February 2005.

The course announcement and the registration request are also available from the Internet website

Student participation in the Master program is free.

During the trainee work period 8 students will receive expense reimbursements (room and board).

At the end of the course, students will receive a certificate indicating their specialization as a “Artistic designer” ISTAT Code 255306.


The postgraduate program – Master in Ceramic Design – for a total of 700 hours (540 hours of classroom-practical instruction and 160 hours of trainee work experience) will be held from March – July 2005. Attendance is mandatory.

Lessons will be held from Monday to Friday, 8 hours a day.

For more information please contact:

C.P.F.P. “F. Varaldo”

Via Amendola 10 – 17100 Savona – Italy

Tel: + 39 019 8313600 Fax: +39 019 8313610

e-mail: [email protected]

Contacts: Marina Chiarenza, Elena Zunino

Attese Biennale di Ceramica nell’Arte Contemporanea

Via Lepontina, 12 – 20159 Milan – Italy

Tel/fax: + 39 02 6081878

e-mail: [email protected][email protected]

Contacts: Tiziana Casapietra, Roberto Costantino

The Progetto Ce.Lo. “Ceramica Locale” is co-financed by the European Union. Operative Program Objective 3/2004 – Axis C Measure C3

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