August 14, 2006 We’ve previously written about the advent of digital technology in creating design tools for wallpaper, drapes, and carpets, even fingernails, and the extraordinary results that can be obtained. Now we can report that the digital age has touched even the ancient craft of mosaic tiling. Bisazza is probably the best known mosaic tile company in the world, with its exquisite wares gracing the floors, walls and ceilings of luxury hotels, palaces and designer piazzas across the planet. Bisazza now offers a service where you can choose the digital image you require for a wall, ceiling or floor, send it to them, and they will create the templates for the creation of the mosaic with the 10x10 and 20x20mm Bisazza tile. The service came to our attention when MINI used the service to create some extraordinary motorcars for exhibition purposes. Extraordinary image gallery of the MINIs and some of Bisazza's remarkable mosaics.
Four specially commissioned MINIs were built by the Italian glass tile experts. The ‘MINI wears BISAZZA’ cars have been designed as static works of art. Two of the cars are MINI Hardtop models and two are MINI Cabrios.
The ‘MINI wears BISAZZA’ design was created by Carlo dal Bianco and Marco Braga. The two MINI Hardtops in the Summer Flowers and Tartan Design cover 7 sq m with around 37,000 tiles each. The mosaics were created using glass tiles which are only 12 x 12 mm in size. The MINI Cabrios in Zebra and Dama Design have a mosaic surface of 6 sq m incorporating 31,700 tiles each. In total more than 142,700 tiles adorn the four cars. In order to securely fix the tiles to the car body, a special trowel was designed to spread the glue evenly and to create the “tailored dress” effect in mosaic.
After carefully studying the bodywork of the MINI Hardtop and Cabrio, the challenge for BISAZZA was to make the patterns and colours look homogeneous in three dimensions.
The cars explained
Summer Flowers offers a romantic decor with its natural flower motif in a graphic pattern made of bright colours.
Tartan is a modern twist on classic British style and tradition.
Dama (designed by Carlo Dal Bianco) reflects perfectly the Optical style, typical of the ‘Swinging Sixties’. It is sporty and energetic, the chequered image recalling the multi-faceted motorsport history of the MINI brand, both in the 1960s and today. Zebra (also designed by Carlo Dal Bianco) is an example of the animal trend, considered a current décor because of its African inspiration. The design delivers a wild and elusive effect.
Since their international debut on the catwalks of high fashion in Milan last April, the cars have been shown at design and furniture exhibitions. The Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan is a get-together forum for young designers and successful manufacturers from the world of interior design.
Zebra and Summer Flowers then appeared at DesignMai Berlin, an international design festival comprising of large-scale exhibitions across Berlin.
BISAZZA: the design icon
Trump Tower New York, the Hanover Expo Plaza (with a 2,600 sq m mosaic) and the Microsoft Italia headquarters in Milan, are all home to major BISAZZA works. Based in Alte near Vicenza, BISAZZA was founded in 1956.
Bisazza is an Italian glass-mosaic company, has developed specialized software that allows designers to transform any type of image into mosaic format. The software takes a digitized image and “pixelates” it into a mapping of mosaic tiles with specific sizes and a color mapping, according to the dimensions specified by the designers. Then Bisazza custom-produces the tiles to order.