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Michael P. Johnson wins the 2009 “Aldo Villa” award

Prize-giving to take place at beginning of October at Cersaie, Bologna

This year Aldo Villa award - the eleventh - goes to architect Michael P. Johnson. Established in 1988 by the Società Ceramica Italiana, the award has the purpose of honouring the memory of Aldo Villa, Sacmi’s managing director for nearly twenty years from 1958 to 1987, the year of his untimely death.

The decision of the commission – consisting of the President of the Società Ceramica Italiana Paolo Zannini, the President of Confindustria Ceramica Franco Manfredini, the President of Sacmi Domenico Olivieri, the President of Bologna’s Order of Architects Alessandro Marata, and Andrea Emiliani, representing the National Gallery of Bologna – was unanimous. The award will be presented to Mr. Johnson on the occasion of the coming Cersaie event, a major international exhibition of ceramic, architecture and bathroom fittings and furnishing to take place at Bologna’s Trade Fair District from 29th September to 3rd October.

In the words of the commission the award was assigned to Mr. Johnson for “his capacity, through masterly interpretation of surroundings and smooth application, to bring out the very best in industrial ceramic products by contributing to the advent of new scenarios of usage and diffusion”. Beautiful, of good value and practical– in Johnson’s words – ceramic products are highly suitable for being re-contextualised in new surroundings, as tiles can count on the unique twin strengths of practicality and beauty, which, in turn, stem from the quality of the materials used and the perfection of production processes.

The architect Michael P. Johnson will be awarded the prize on Thursday 1st October at 5 p.m. in the Galleria dell’Architettura (Service Centre, block D). Previous winners of the “Aldo Villa” award include such prestigious figures as Ibrahim Bodur (2007), Carlo Palmonari (2006), Filippo Marazzi (2003) and Vittoriano Bitossi (2001) – and that’s only in the most recent years. What they all share, though, is having made “a significant contribution to the development of the ceramic industry” in their roles as businessmen, managers, technicians, researchers, architects or craftsmen.


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