Spanish ceramic tiles steal the limelight in new book ‘Ceramic Material Systems’

Dec 3, 2015


Publishing company Birkhäuser, which specializes in architectural design, has published a book that addresses the current situation of ceramic tiles in architecture.


The new publication ‘Ceramic Material Systems in Architecture and Interior Design’, by Martin Bechthold, Nathan King and Anthony Kane (Birkhäuser), addressing the question of progress of ceramic materials in architecture, their origin and upward growth trend. In this work, the authors provide readers with the know-how necessary to develop architectural solutions using ceramic materials, backed up by an exhaustive review of ceramic products and projects.


Martin Bechthold is a professor and director of the collaboration project run by ASCER (Association of Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufacturers) at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). Nathan King and Anthony Kane are former students of this course and are currently working on this initiative.


The book received the backing of ASCER and Tile of Spain, and features numerous references to Spanish ceramic tile products and works. The book has been published in English and German.


Dr. Martin Bechthold

Dr. Martin Bechthold

As the book’s prologue states, “Far beyond their long-standing decorative and protective use, architectural ceramics have matured into material systems of great potential. Triggered by material research, design computation, and digital fabrication methods, the innovations in ceramic technology are enabling expanded applications for ceramics as multi-functional, performative systems for contemporary Architecture and construction.”


The 12 chapters provide a detailed insight into the key concepts behind ceramic materials, including the following: material legacy, properties, production processes, applications: interiors & exteriors, life cycle aspects, surface effects, patterns ans aggregations, thermodynamic skins, form customization strategies, emerging systems and a compendium of products and technologies revealing new applications that combine the material’s emotional and aesthetic appeal with new and innovative functionalities.


Birkhäuser is a leading Swiss international publishing company specializing in architectural design. Its publications are distributed throughout the world.


The collaboration between ASCER and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) is part of the project to create a network of university departments in order to promote the use of ceramic tiles.


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