The Future of Ceramic

Structure and Texture

José María de Churtichaga 

Clay, basic ingredient of ceramic, is one of the most ancient materials used for building and a key element in architectural history. However, for some time now, its role has undergone a period of redefinition and in many cases of retreat. This is particularly evident in the most recent architectural panorama, which does not seem to find in ceramic an ally for the future and considers it only for secondary uses without exploring its full potential. But if we analyze the building activity around the world, with hundreds of millions of people still using clay as basic building material, we find ourselves faced with a paradox: though people continue building with earth, acknowledged and published architecture goes without it.

In any case, ceramic’s intellectual distancing from the architectural foreground has deep roots that are related not only with trends. Hence, should this material wish to maintain and ensure its presence in the future, it must ‘reinvent’ itself. The first step in order to catalyze its transformation would involve builders, whom, believing to have left this material behind for good, overshadowed by more innovative techniques, would need to shake off all prejudices and stop for a moment to understand that ceramic is indeed high technology, offering a whole series of advantages in the interests of man. From this perspective one discovers that highend technology has always been among us and that it would be enough to develop and stimulate it so that it could take on a new role devoid of romantic views... [+]  

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