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Dr. Jana Göbel

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Research and dissemination of applied ceramic heritage in European architecture

Within the Ceramics and its Dimensions project, the National Museum of Ceramics has coordinated Module 3, which under the title Architectural Ceramics, has focused on research and dissemination of applied ceramic heritage in European architecture. Architecture attributes personality to European cities, generating landmarks with buildings and unique spaces. That personality is reinforced by ceramic applied to architecture which manifests and distinguishes the spirit and vision of the world of society through elements of color or symbols of each place. At the same time, the relationships and historical connections in Europe allowed the transfers of technique, knowledge and artistic languages which are reflected in the evolution of elements and decorations that architecture presents from the Baroque to today.

Our main goal has been the generation and dissemination of knowledge on the subject of ceramics applied to architecture in the European Heritage, and this has materialized in four basic actions:

  • Documentation, with the generation of a database on applied ceramics in architecture in Europe, wich not only provides information about the 220 European buildings that have been selected, from 22 different countries, and the architectural ceramics used in them, but also gives information about the architects, artists, designers, and manufacturers who were involved in the creation of these works, mostly dated from the 16th century onwards. In addition, it has been included high quality photographs of the buildings as well as detailed ones of their highlighted ceramic elements and more than a thousand bibliographical references.
  • Social participation in order to draw the attention of the general public about the values of applied ceramics in architecture, through photographic contests and the publication in a book of selected images and discussion articles on social activism in this area. On Flickr we can find 3684 images with the hashtag #Cabanyal, 88 with #cabanyalcanyamelarconcurso, and 1438 with #architecture_ceramic. The results on Instagram are 89 publications with #architectureceramicdimensionsce, 105 with #cabanyalcanyamelarpielceramica, and 274 publications with #cabanyalcanyamelar.
  • Accessibility by generating a portal to access websites, blogs and platforms that deal with the theme of our module.

As a conclusion of the project I would like to say that for us it has been a very interesting experience that has allowed us to work in a multinational network in projects that we could never have planned from our Museum. We have expanded our international contacts and open possibilities, but above all we have carried out a series of works and concerted actions that we hope will serve the public in the promotion of knowledge and in the safeguard of the Cultural Heritage. In closing, I would like to thank all those who have collaborated with us for their work.

Jaume Coll