It's rare that we discover a designer through their line of tile. Usually, designers make their name in the world of furniture or accessories; then they get commissioned to lend their cachet to more boring things like flooring. But Diego Grandi approaches design from the other end. He sees walls and floors as the ideal canvas for the expression of unique textures, colors, and materials.
His patterns are inspired by city maps, street networks, and architectural plans, and he likes to experiment with the possibilities of modular pattern. For instance, his Mauk line (photo #7) uses a few basic geometric shapes and contrasting colors to create a broad range of possibilities.
Grandi lives and works in Milan, teaching, lecturing, and designing patterns. We first saw his work at the Cersaie exhibition of Italian ceramic tile last year, and inside Pierluigi Molteni's Plug-In House. The surfaces are very tactile—the kind you want to run your fingers over—and are made from ceramic with a textured surface. Shown above are the Streets, City, Case, Mauk, and Studies lines.
Diego Grandi's tiles are produced and distributed by Italian company Lea Ceramiche. To find US distribution and retailers, click here.
Photos: Lea Ceramiche