Welcome back to Spotted, our weekly round-up of the coolest tidbits and happenings from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics. This week we have the Northern star of ceramics: a brittle critter with some important clues on making stronger ceramics.
Beautiful, Brainless Brittle Star Takes Center Stage
According to our science-based friends over at the American Ceramic Society, a brittle, brainless starfish, Ophiocoma wendtii, has inspired researchers to explore how this delicate creature can create tempered glass-like materials in its arms underwater.
The ACS reports scientists with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology are using the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France to study these little critters.
The researchers uncovered the unique protective mechanism of highly resistant lenses located on the arms of Ophiocoma wendtii, a coral reef-dwelling brittle starfish. On the arms of this creature are hundreds of focal lenses that hold clues to making tough ceramics. Made of chalk, the lenses are powerful and accurate, and the deciphering of their crystalline and nanoscale structure has occupied lead researcher Professor Boaz Pokroy and his team for the past three years.
Their entire findings can be found in the December edition of ScienceDaily.
Tile of Spain Award Winners Announced
Tile of Spain, the association of over 100 Spanish tile manufacturers, announces the winners of the 16th annual Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design. The panel of judges, chaired by architect Iñaki Ábalos, met in November 24 in Castellón to decide the winners.
First place in the Architecture category was awarded to the project entitled ‘Bodega Mont-Ras’ by Jorge Vidal and Víctor Rahola.
The project was chosen for its close connection between the construction of a winery and the winemaking process, both inextricably linked to experiences with the land. Fired-clay tiles were used to create vaults that allow overhead light to enter the spaces.
The first place prize in the Interior Design category was awarded to ‘Three metro stations on Barcelona’s L9 line’, a project by Garcés-de Seta-Bonet Arquitectes.
Both the interior and exterior of the Mercabarna, Parc Logístic and Europa Fira stations, all on the L9 metro line in Barcelona, were remodeled in order to create a sense of classic timelessness, as well as guaranteeing easy maintenance for the future.
Read more about the other winners and special mentions in other categories.
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