Sparking Change Installation Catalyzes a Conversation About Circularity + Decarbonization


Sparking Change is a unique, educational installation presented by Roca and designed by Mario Cucinella Architects that was put on display at Fuorisalone during Milan Design Week 2024. Bringing the physical and digital worlds together at the Università degli Studi are 1,200 colorful, 3D-printed modular ceramic blocks stacked into a semi-circular backdrop measuring 4.5 meters high. The larger, necessary narrative that lies behind the beauty of Sparking Change is about embodying the principles of circularity and decarbonization, a path that straddles tradition and industrial innovation.

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks with sunlight casting colorful shadows on the ground.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

“This installation is evidence that technology and digital tools are no longer merely instruments for creating but also for stimulating new ideas,” says Mario Cucinella, founder and president of Mario Cucinella Architects, of the project.

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks with sunlight casting colorful shadows on the ground.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

The blocks are individually made during a low-environmental impact process that uses a combination of virgin clay and recycled ceramics sourced from bathroom component production. The gradient and the shape of the installation itself are symbolic of the operating temperatures used during the firing process to achieve quality ceramic products. Once the firing is complete, each block is marked with details that share the temperature reached at every stage of its production.

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

Sparking Change’s curved structure creates variations in height, naturally carving out spaces where visitors can sit and rest or have a conversation. The overall design of the installation allowed for it to be completely disassembled once the event wrapped up, with the exciting possibility of being reassembled elsewhere in the future.

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

The installation wouldn’t have been possible without the Roca Group’s invention of the world’s first electric tunnel kiln, located at their production plant in Gmunden, Austria. Highly efficient and sustainable, it’s an alternative to traditional production methods that offer decarbonization and automation capabilities, paving the way for a shift in the larger ceramics industry. Sparking Change serves to highlight the positive environmental impact of the kiln, showing what can be possible with knowledge, experience, and technology.

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks with sunlight casting colorful shadows on the ground.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks with sunlight casting colorful shadows on the ground.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks with sunlight casting colorful shadows on the ground.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks with sunlight casting colorful shadows on the ground.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks in the evening.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks with sunlight casting colorful shadows on the ground.

Photo: ©Marcela Grassi

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks in the evening.

Photo: Paolo Fassoli

Art installation in a courtyard featuring a vibrant, cascading archway made of stacked colored blocks in the evening.

Photo: Paolo Fassoli

To learn more about the Sparking Change installation, visit mcarchitects.it.



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