“The memory of the clay” – International Ceramics Competition 2021

We invite you to come up with a ceramic design object/element or module for interior design, which should offer more personality to interior design projects or bring extra comfort/usability at home.

The Caolin Association, supported by the Romanian Order of Architects Branches associated with BATRA (Romanian Order of Architects – Transylvania branch, Bihor branch, Alba branch, North-West branch, Satu Mare branch) and Ceramics Now Magazine, invites ceramics artists everywhere to take part in a contest meant to bring the architects and potters guilds closer.

The competing artists are invited to make or even invent a design object or a composition with ceramics modules which can bring more personality to interior design projects made by architects.

The proposed product, whether it is a ceramics module with an abstract shape or a design object, must be executed by artists in the form of a trophy. Subsequently, the winning artist, in addition to the cash prize, will be asked to make 20 ceramic trophies (each on a base, if necessary), for a fee, intended as prizes for the winning architects at the Transylvania Architecture Biennial – BATRA 2021.

The proposal for collaboration between architects and ceramics artists came from the organizers of the Transylvania Architecture Biennial (BATRA), who wished to reward their winners with an original trophy, an artistic object that can be handed on stage to the winners of various sections of the Biennial.

In the long run, we believe that this collaboration between the two professional environments is welcome, the contribution in each other’s field bringing additional quality, originality, functionality and financial benefits and leading implicitly to the development of both the architectural and visual-artistic scene.

The jury consists of established ceramics artists and architects.

The cash prizes are as follows:

  • first place – 800 EUR
  • second place – 500 EUR
  • third place – 400 EUR

In addition, the winner of the contest will be commissioned by the BATRA organizers to make 20 trophies with a maximum value of 100 EUR/piece, to be sent no later than September 13, 2021 to the Romanian Order of Architects – Transylvania branch, Bulevardul Eroilor no. 22, Cluj-Napoca.

The participants will register online on the website of the Caolin Association – www.caolinart.com – by August 12, 2021 using images with a maximum size of 10MB each, of detailed sketches (either digital or hand-drawn, dimensions, colours etc) or, ideally, the finished object.

For any additional information please write to us at the following email address: caolinro@gmail.com


The participating artists are free to choose the concept of their work, from which the functionality or the decorative aspect of the final product stems. We believe that each artistic object has its own story, in accordance with the creator’s personal vision, but pursues a contemporary interpretation with a feasible and coherent design.

The theme the ceramics artists will start their research from is the BATRA theme itself, namely:


The past two years have been fraught with unsuspected trials. We have lived, worked, thought, dreamt and met in a virtual space that helped us in times of crisis. However, we have missed what we were used to perceive with all our senses: real space, people, friends, family, colleagues.

Immediate consequences: communication has been simplified (some would even say it has become desensitised), being unable to make use of details, and communities have rediscovered and redefined themselves. Communities of specialists, colleagues, neighbours, collaborators, families or friends, we have all browsed through old photo albums with us, with our cities and villages, with the houses, gardens and parks that are landmarks in our lives.

Thus, an unexpectedly warm common space was defined, platforms that allowed everyone not only to anchor themselves in a new reality, but also to analyse what is necessary to change in our professions. Everything related to a pandemic that can transform us, surprisingly or not, into people of the community, into architects in solidarity with its needs.
However, we woke up specialists in the face of a reality for which we were not sufficiently prepared.

Functions with inappropriate legislation, details, materials, dire needs of the pandemic have brought us face to face with a reality that requires us to unite and become aware of belonging to the community as a priority of our profession.

Architecture and constructions in education, commercial spaces and public spaces are just some of the functions that require our presence.
Architectural interventions are perceived much more acutely now, when returning to the known spaces, as elements generating community discomfort (i.e. that type of discomfort that is not personal, individual, but has community impact and can lead, in extreme situations, to anarchy) when they are NOT connected and harmonised with the city and the community.

Now, perhaps more than ever, architecture must be defined by connection (not separation), collaboration (not individualism)!
The rhythms of life have been modified and prioritised according to new criteria. Do we change our course? Do we have landmarks and values strong enough to adapt to new needs?
Was “moving” into the virtual space (.com) a mere gesture of despair after which we were left with nothing, or did it generate if not the characteristic, then at least the need for unity, cohesion and solidarity?

Thus, this is the debate we will focus on at BATRA 2021, with solid arguments and specific examples.”


The materials used can be a combination of ceramics, glass, wood or others, but it is mandatory that the ceramic material makes up at least 60%.

The technique will be of your own choice, keeping in mind plasticity, texture play, colours, transparencies or perforations. Originality, functionality and plasticity will be evaluated.

Trophy execution should be thought of in such a way that the place of the winner, the section and the logo of the Biennial (BATRA) can be inscribed on it, possibly on the base.

Please take into account that the trophy will have to be handed personally, on stage, to the winners of the BATRA contest and that it should not exceed 40/40/40cm in size and 5kg in weight.


  • coherence of the proposed concept
  • technical execution
  • functionality
  • plasticity
  • decorative aspect


July 24 – August 15, 2021 – uploading contest applications to the website
August 18, 2021 – announcing the winners (first, second and third places)
September 13, 2021 – deadline for sending the trophies to BATRA 2021 organizers
October 07, 2021 – deadline by which the products reach the beneficiaries


1. All participants over the age of 18 are eligible.
2. No appeal is admitted after the judges have reached a decision.
3. All participants will receive the judging results by email.
4. The cash prizes will be transferred to the second and third place winners within one week, in their personal bank accounts, after the judging stage ends.
5. The first prize in cash, as well as the fee for the 20 trophies, will be transferred after the final acceptance of the products.
6. The costs for transportation and insurance in case of damage/destruction will be fully covered by the winner of the contest.
7. The deadline for sending the ordered items to their destination is 20.09.2021, and it is mandatory that they reach the beneficiaries by 07.10.2021.

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