At Gemanco Design in Modugno, Italy, technology has been paired with traditional technique to create an extremely versatile product – resin mosaic. Lighter and thinner than its ceramic and glass competitors, resin mosaic is the innovative outcome of fusing digital printing and top-quality transparent resin.
Gemanco Design’s resin mosaic, featured in the Materials Pavilion during NeoCon 2019, can be a useful tool for designers looking to carry out renovation projects. Rather than change mosaic tile’s quality and structure, it simply enhances its features. The material can be easily placed on existing tiles without having to remove old coating, since it’s only 2-mm thick.
Resin mosaic is an ideal surfacing solution because it is completely customizable – it can reproduce images of any color and size. Plus, it’s UV resistant and waterproof. It can withstand wet environments such as bathrooms, wellness centers, spas and gyms – and can be applied to any surface, including walls, ceilings, furniture and mirrors. The material’s flexible nature is key in allowing it to fit curved and irregular spaces.Sandro Ciurcina, president of Next Surfaces, the exclusive distributor for Gemanco Design in North America, talks about the resin mosaic and its applications. For more information on unique products from the company, you can also listen to the podcast on I Hear Design.
interiors+sources: When was this resin mosaic technology developed?
Sandro Ciurcina: About 10 years ago we started experimenting on resin mosaic, standing alone or combined with custom wallpaper. Research and design became our priority and we ended up launching a new ambitious project [which turned into] Gemanco Design.
i+s: Who designed the product?
SC: A dynamic and professional team made up of designers, sales and marketing experts designed the product within another company specialized in resin labels and construction.
i+s: What was the inspiration behind the resin mosaic?
SC: There's something magical about innovating something so classic as a mosaic and, at the same time, so eclectic. Gemanco Designs makes mosaic more flexible, thinner and lighter.
i+s: What was the biggest hurdle in bringing the product to life?
SC: Shaping the idea into a company was like a roller coaster ride. The trickiest part was setting up different machines that were not designed for that specific purpose.
i+s: How has the response been toward the product?
SC: Innovation requires time. The clients' responses were at first skeptical because they did not know what the resin mosaic was supposed to do. With time, they acquired awareness and now they love how flexible and innovative our product is.
SC: During the years, we’ve had the chance to work on so many interesting projects. We consider the Gulf Area projects to be remarkable, such as W Hotel in Oman and Dubai, where we defeated the high temperature with performing UV-resistant tiles. For these projects, we produced irregular patterns printed on silver PVC – a contemporary style applied to an ancient technique.
i+s: What is your hope for resin mosaic?
SC: “Back to the future.” Our hope for the product is going back to its origin. We are experimenting on floor resin mosaic, ensuring the same resistance and durability of ceramic tile.
i+s: Are there any changes to the product on the horizon?
SC: We are taking resin mosaic to the next level. It will be a three-senses experience: sight, touch and smell with a customized fragrance instilled into the tiles.
i+s: What’s something people don’t know about the product?
SC: What makes our resin mosaic unique is the countless possibilities of customization and application even in a challenging environment. There are so many options – imagination is the only limit.