by Arch. Alessandro Ubertazzi

The publisher Hoepli recently brought out the first in what promises to be an interesting series of books that together go under the name of The Shape of Material, the brainchild of architect Alessandro Ubertazzi, who lectures in Industrial Design at the Milan Polytechnic Faculty of Design, with the aim of providing an exhaustive information textbook for professionals and students of architecture and design.
In this book, the authors - Professor Ubertazzi and another architect, Nicoletta Wojciechowski - tell all there is to know about vitreous enamel, emphasising its ancient origins, its technical properties and characteristics, the production methods that make use of state-of-the-art technologies, its chromatic values and its enormous range of applications in all sorts of different sectors.
Vitreous enamel is a very familiar material in the field of hygienic and sanitary fittings, for example. Many of this material's applications are concerned with the bathroom, because it caters for requirements of hygiene, durability, elegant good looks and mass production. When vitreous enamel is combined with various glass and steel materials, the best qualities of both are brought out, making the latter extremely resistant to chemical agents and contributing both to the finished product's performance and to its pleasant appearance. This leads to very extensive applications in the conventional production of bathtubs and shower trays, as well as to experiments in producing wash basins made of enamelled aluminium steel with a single-die process that makes them shockproof and gives them the benefit of the lively colour range available with enamel.
The book contains detailed descriptions of production methods (which also come across very well in the illustrations by designer Renato Di Lorenzo) that show each phase of modern metal enamelling techniques exhaustively and clearly.
The easy flow of the explanations, the tasteful choice of the images, the freshness of a modern approach to the topic and the thoroughly original way chosen for tackling such a technical subject together transform this manual into an enjoyable book.


The International Enamellers Institute
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The International Enamellers Institute (IEI) Viale Vincenzo Lancetti, 43 20158 Milano - Italy
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