Founded in 2005, Italy-based Mutina challenges the traditional conventions of ceramics, not only in terms of scale, texture, and composition but also in terms of creativity and experimentation. Based in the ceramic district of Italy, Fiorano, Mutina draws inspiration from the best of Italian craftsmanship. The brand's name is derived from its city of origin, Modena, reflecting its connection to the rich tradition of Italian design.
By combining technological innovation and craftsmanship, the Italian brand overcomes the limitations of the ceramic material by creating a diverse range of collections and product lines, from large-format tiles to mosaic options, all of which can be used in various interior settings.
Through a combination of artisanal and industrial processes, leveraging advanced technologies, Mutina produces ceramic tiles that dress architecture like a second skin. Patricia Urquiola, a renowned Spanish designer and architect, is celebrated for her mastery of style, incorporating modern aesthetics with feminine touches and unexpected elements. Operating from her Milan-based studio, she collaborates with prestigious brands worldwide, crafting award-winning designs across various fields, including furniture, tiling, and bathroom fixtures.
Urquiola joined the Mutina team in 2008 and has since designed numerous collections, including Déchirer, Bas-Relief, Azulei, Tierras, Déchirer XL, Celosia, El Lobo, Mater, Chamotte, and Jali. With a background in architecture and a wealth of design experience, Urquiola brings her unique perspective and creativity to Mutina's ceramic tile collections.
"It's a great journey, the one with Mutina. Full of empathy and change. The thing that hasn't changed is the fact that we still have fun and worry like we did at the beginning. We still ask each other many questions that get more and more complex. We are self-critical and never settle for less," shares Urquiola.
Mutina and Urquiola announced the renewal of their collaboration, as they worked together on a stunning range of new ceramic collections. These collections were officially unveiled at Milan Design Week 2023.
The Jali Collection
Jali is a collection inspired by the decorative style found in Indian architecture, characterised by perforated stones arranged in ornamental patterns resembling grids. In the context of this collection, Jali takes the form of a simple and functional terracotta brick with delicate shapes, specifically designed for constructing various structures and decorative accessories.
The collection features a single 3D element in the format of 23.4×23.4x 11.7 cm, crafted using the drawing technique. It is available in three colour options: neutral, in its natural form, and black and white, both showcasing a glazed finish.
The versatility of Jali allows for its installation in both residential and commercial environments, as well as both indoors and outdoors. Their modular geometry enables vertical and horizontal placement and a combination of the two orientations, whether aligned or staggered.
"Jali is a perforated stone, an architectural microgrid, typical of Indian architecture, with geometric patterns or floral motifs. For Mutina, I thought of a 3D object inspired by this element: a versatile but also rigorous, simple, and poetic presence. Jali can be arranged in very many ways: both from the vertical and from the horizontal side, aligned or staggered, creating dynamic filters, architectural elements or actual furnishings," comments Urquiola.
Chamotte is a project that celebrates the essence of pure colour and showcases the beauty of ceramic craftsmanship. Chamotte originates from the raw material used in its creation, which consists of crushed ceramic fragments added to clay to achieve a grainy texture. This collection is dedicated to enhancing the natural charm of ceramics and is specifically designed for covering interior spaces.
Each piece of Chamotte is meticulously handcrafted, resulting in a range of surfaces with a tactile texture that invites touch and appreciation. The collection is available in a single format of 7.5×22.5 cm and offers three variants: Linea, featuring continuous relief strokes that traverse the entire surface; Quadra, where the strokes are momentarily interrupted, creating a distinct shape; and Mono, a solid-coloured element intentionally designed for combining with the other variants.
Chamotte comes in vibrant colours, including white, blue, earth, ochre, black, and green, all showcasing a glossy finish. The double-firing technique employed during production further enhances the richness of the glazed elements, resulting in exceptional luminosity. The meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail in Chamotte create surfaces that exhibit a captivating glossy appearance and provide a pleasing tactile experience.
"The Chamotte collection was born from the desire to create a tile with great tactile consistency that highlights the brutal and natural beauty of ceramics. We worked on the volumes, creating a surface full of layers and contrasts, visually and in contact with the hand," relays Urquiola.
Mater, derived from the word 'matter,' draws inspiration from the earth, and uses that to create the collection's neutral foundations. This project showcases the prominence of enamel, applied using an innovative glazing technique that produces a visually striking effect with a pleasant tactile sensation.
Mater is crafted in three formats: 15×60 cm, 60x60 cm, and 120×120 cm. The collection offers a basic version with neutral backgrounds in the colours of uni beige and uni moka. Building upon these two modules, Mater expands into six distinct proposals with an extra glossy finish and a decorative pattern called 'Segno.'
Its range of sizes and design options, combined with the captivating glazing technique, creates visually compelling surfaces pleasing to the touch. Whether used indoors or outdoors, Mater brings a touch of elegance and craftsmanship to any environment.
"Ceramic is a versatile material, adaptable and extremely resistant. It's a material with which you can experiment a lot and do so much research, as well as working with technology and processes in order to improve them," says Urquiola.STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2023 showcases the best exhibitions, studios, designers, installations, brands, and special projects to look out for. Explore Euroluce 2023 and all the design districts—5Vie Art and Design, Brera Design District, Fuorisalone, Isola Design District, Tortona District, and Milano Design District—with us.
Text by Khushi Tandon