New York, N.Y.—Ceramics of Italy is participating in and sponsoring the National Building Museum’s upcoming exhibition “Making Room: Housing for a Changing America.” Opening on Nov. 18 in Washington, D.C., the 10-month exhibit aims to highlight innovative housing solutions in a one-of-a-kind, evolving installation. Organized by the museum and the Citizens Housing & Planning Council and presented in partnership with Resource Furniture and Clei, “Making Room” focuses on residential interior design, which is envisioned to meet the growing needs of America’s diverse households.
“We are honored to support the National Building Museum, which is the only cultural institution in the U.S. dedicated to the built environment,” said Vittorio Borelli, president, Confindustria Ceramica. “‘Making Room’ is a unique opportunity for Ceramics of Italy to demonstrate the impressive versatility and unmatched quality of Italian ceramic tiles. The future of residential design is rapidly changing and [Ceramics of Italy] understand the necessity to create products for flexible and multi-functional spaces.”
With unprecedented shifts in demographics and lifestyles over the past few decades, American households have undergone a transformation. More adults than ever are living alone, multigenerational households are on the rise, and affordable housing is in crisis. Technology, the desire for creative use of space and environmental sustainability, as well as demands for healthy living all require 21st-century solutions, while traditional residential housing design have not kept pace.
“Making Room” examines the groundswell of developers, architects, interior designers, allied with housing advocates, policy makers and activists who are proposing exciting, flexible answers for these evolving needs. Replete with surprising architectural and design improvements, the exhibition illuminates cutting-edge approaches such as micro apartments in New York City, shared housing experiments in the D.C. area, backyard accessory cottages in Seattle, tiny houses that are helping the formerly homeless in Austin and the boom in cohousing communities nationwide, among other advances. Models, plans and images showcase some of these alternative options and their effects on the housing market in those communities.
The exhibition’s centerpiece, The Open House, is a 1,000 square-foot, full-scale, flexible dwelling, which further illustrates how a small space can be adapted to meet many needs. Designed by Italian architect Pierluigi Colombo, the home comprises two distinct living spaces that could be used independently or combined to form a larger residence. On its own, the smallest space could be configured as a micro apartment. To highlight how the same space can accommodate three entirely different living arrangements—roommates, an extended family and a retired couple with a live-in aid—the interior furnishings will be swapped out twice during the exhibition’s seven-month run.