Dezeen Magazine

Ceramiche Refin launches porcelain tiles based on prehistoric fossils

Dezeen promotion: Italian brand Ceramiche Refin has launched a porcelain tile collection based on the winning concept from its Create your Tile design competition.

Conceived by young Polish designer Kasia Zareba, Fossil is a new range of porcelain tiles informed by the prehistoric imprints left by plants and animals in rock formations.

Fossil tile in grey
Fossil tile in grey

Ceramiche Refin's research arm, DesignTaleStudio, launched the Create your Tile competition in February 2014, which invited tile design concepts from professionals across the globe.


Over 800 entries were submitted and then judged by Italian designers Alessandro and Francesco Mendini, before Zareba's concept was announced as the winner.

Fossil tile in beige
Fossil tile in beige

Available in brown, beige or grey, the 60-by-60-centimetre tiles are produced in five hand-drawn patterns and are intended to look like they're made from natural stone.


Her original sketches were inspired by the physical impressions left by the grooved, coiled shells of extinct sea creatures called ammonites.

Fossil tile in brown
Fossil tile in brown

"In the subtle motifs, one's imagination can see different figures. They bring to mind the regularities of form found in the natural world,"said Zareba.

"Some people can interpret the ornament as strokes of fur, others see in it the tree rings of annual growth or the surface of rams' horns."


After studying architecture in Poland, Zareba received a place at Design Academy in Eindhoven. She opened her own design studio in the Dutch city after graduating in 2012.

For more information about the Fossil series, visit the Ceramiche Refin website.

Here is more information from Ceramiche Refin:

Fossil Collection

The Fossil collection of porcelain tiles is a translation of the prehistoric imprints left by plants and animals in rock formations, and Zareba took early inspiration from the fossilised marks left by the fluted shells of ammonites. The hand-drawn pattern gives it a unique feeling, resembling traces of primeval creatures pressed against the surface of the stone. Traces of the pattern break and overlap much like the signs of time in prehistoric sites and archaeological excavations.

Moving in different directions, the five separate hand-drawn graphic elements that make up the Fossil collection create a curious optical illusion of depth, created by the perpective shortcuts of separate strokes. The interlocking mosaic of the shades resemble a natural stone, creating a modern interpretation of marble – the symbol of tradition and refined taste of the luxury of precious materials. The Fossil pattern gives an interior a simple, natural and elegant atmosphere.

The winning collection comes in 60-by-60 centimetre porcelain tiles in three neutral colours –beige, grey and brown– with five different graphic patterns to be laid randomly.