Marta Rauch-Debevec, Sebastian Rauch, Austria
As far back as 2000 BC, tiles were being used throughout the Orient. Ornamental motifs decorated the walls and floors of buildings. Mostly the motifs were similar to those seen on oriental carpets. Even today, in some parts of the world, tiles are still baked in the same way that they have been for thousands of years. KuQua ceramic tiles build on the traditional significance of tiles and in doing so represent a symbiosis of ancient workmanship and contemporary design. One is struck above all by the three-dimensional impression of these tiles. This is mainly due to the meeting of two opposites. The ornaments shown on the tiles were developed on a computer and are infinitely repeatable thus leaving nothing to chance. The KuQua series, which comes in three options, is in fact the result of blending spherical and cubic forms and follows a strict geometrical concept. The flower-like ornament, together with the high-gloss coloured glaze, creates a noticeable contrast to the matt, smoke-black appearance of the surface of the ceramic tiles. KuQua tiles are handmade and fired at 1,000°C in an electric kiln. After screen printing, they are fired a second time then immersed in sawdust. Low fired ceramic tiles are very good at storing and regulating warmth and moisture, then releasing both. As a result, they have a positive effect on a room’s environment.
Statement by the jury
»The KuQua series of tiles successfully combines artisanal tradition with design. Their three dimensional appearance creates a sense of depth and leads to attractive visual effects. They offer architects and planners a wide range of new possibilities for using tiles.«