Run-up to Marmomac 2019: young and stone

The Young Stone Project is much more than an exhibition within the scope of The Italian Stone Theatre event held every year.

It is backed up a research project and a series of initiatives – courses, workshops, relationships with companies, experiments – wherein the exhibition itself is only the tip of the iceberg. Consequently, before entering Hall 1, visitors to Marmomac find, as an ideal rite of passage from training to professional status, a selection of the prototypes developed in educational fields and created by companies in the sector which believe in experimentation. The culminating moment is the meeting between the various protagonists and comparisons of their design experiences and results during a round table that in 2018 was moderated by Domenico Potenza, Professor at the Department of Architecture, University of Chieti-Pescara, one of the university centres by now involved for several years thanks to agreements signed with Veronafiere.

From Bari to New York

Giuseppe Fallacara is a well-known name among the speakers for frequent visitors of Marmomac; he has outlined on several occasions at previous editions the results of experiments conducted with students of Bari Polytechnic University where he teaches. This year, Fallacara reviewed his own research work, starting off with flashbacks on the Moebius chair (2016), characterized by the double curvature of the thin fibre-reinforced stone, and Hyperwall (2016), a modular perforated stone wall built using ashlars obtained from recomposed stone based on Lecce Stone offcuts. The possibility of obtaining single and repeatable elements both from waste materials and cutting of natural stone using diamond wires was also tested in later stages, culminating in the From new marble to new research project at the New York Institute of Technology with Christian Pongratz. The objective, in this case, is to create hyperboloid pavilions using blocks prepared using 3D printing, a hypothesis that led to the design of a school building as a prototype of 2.0 stereometry.

Through the schools

The following reports outlined research in the faculties of architecture and design of Italian universities. Marco Ferrero (La Sapienza School of Engineering in Rome), attending Marmomac for the eighth time, this year completed the development of a prototype (the Combo bench) on show in the exhibition.

Raffaello Galiotto, within the scope of the degree course in industrial product design at the University of Ferrara, has for many years carried out experiments with diamond wire cutting techniques thanks to collaboration with Pellegrini Meccanica, Margraf and Vicentina Marmi. This technique allows material to be broken down and re-composed in an appropriate form, thereby helping to save time, energy and even material itself. Three projects designed by students, verified with scale models in polystyrene processed with hot wire, were selected and implemented in authentic natural stone.

Vincenzo Minenna (Bari Polytechnic University) and Massimo Russo (University of Chieti-Pescara) also outlined the steps from the study stage, in thesis or course laboratories, to the genesis of the form with refined geometric simulations and the final development of prototypes, accompanying students through to the rewarding moment when their projects came alive.

This approach also took place at the Verona Academy of Fine Arts, where Sotirios Papadopoulos, in collaboration with important local players, accompanied a student through to the creation of Random, a wall cladding made up of regular hexagonal slabs divided into two symmetrical parts with different finishes, which can be combined in a variety of ways.


Marmomac 2018
Experiments with natural stone in universities
Curators: Raffaello Galiotto and Vincenzo Pavan

Research centres:

Bari Polytechnic University, Department of Architecture
University of Pescara, Department of Architecture
University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Civil Construction Engineering
University of Ferrara – Department of Architecture
Verona Academy of Fine Arts, in collaboration with the San Zeno School of Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella (marble sector) and the Verona Construction & Building School


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