Explore the full History timeline, or discover the most iconic collaborations we made with Famous designers through the years.
Alberto Alessi has described his career as like a series of meetings that have enabled him to flesh out and go beneath the surface of his original intuition. Franco Sargiani, Ettore Sottsass, Richard Sapper, Achille Castiglioni, Alessandro Mendini, Aldo Rossi, Michael Graves and Philippe Starck were the “meetings” which, in the 1970s and 1980s, helped transform the company into the Factory of Design envisaged by Alberto.
The decision to use materials other than steel is another important decision that shapes the decade. The company opens to plastic; to wood in 1989 with the Twergi brand; and to glass, porcelain and then ceramics in 1992 with the Tendentse brand and the “100% Make up” vase project.
Until 1970 the Technical Office designs and develops most of the Alessi products. The beginning of the company’s partnerships with external designers marks the Technical Office’s gradual shift away from product design and it now specialises exclusively in the development of projects.
``Bombé`` tea and coffee service, an archetype of early Italian design. He completely
ceases design work when he becomes general manager of the company in the 1950s.
a cultural turning point, introducing the concepts of ``creator``, ``project`` and ``design`` to the world of household goods.
In 1957, the 870 shaker, the 871 ice bucket and the 505 ice tongs are selected for the XI Milan Triennial. For the first time, Alessi objects appear in an exhibition on “designer” industrial production.
They design the Alessi logo, which has been used since 1971 and the ``Programma 8``, a table service objects system based on modular square or rectangular shapes elements, which are very difficult to produce in steel.
of the industrial application of that research. This collection of radically new lines is a marked departure from the company’s previous style of baskets and trays. The Tiffany tray by Silvio Coppola stands out as emblematic of the whole series.
and he discussed rarefied design issues and the role of industry in society.
The 5070 condiment sets were one of his first projects for us. This mini table architecture is one of our best-known products.
The “Anna G.” corkscrew is his most iconic project for Alessi, whose status as a cult figure was wittily alluded to in an advertisement by Lowe Lintas Pirella Göttsche & Partners that depicts it as a new Marilyn.
construction details in his designs led to long and bitter discussions with our engineers. However, the results have always been extraordinary, like the 9090 espresso coffee maker, which was the first Alessi project for the kitchen, or the 9091 kettle with melodic whistle, the first of our designer kettles.
Dalisi’s project further opens the company’s industrial world to the conceptual experience of craftsmanship, teaching us to dissolve certainties in a fragile and poetic vein, often the most appropriate for working around time honoured domestic rituals.
He died in December 2002, but his extraordinary example of intelligence, humility and lightness continues to be a great inspiration.
like a small red bird. This kettle has given rise to a rich family of products, all using the formal language of the ``parent``: a happy blend of influences from the European tradition, Art Deco, American Pop Art and memories of pre-Columbian cultures.
sees the espresso coffee maker as the symbol par excellence of the dialectical relationship between architecture (or urban planning) and the ‘paesaggio domestico’ (domestic landscape) in which this mini-monument appears. This research lead to “La Conica”, “La Cupola”, and “Ottagono” espresso coffee makers, along with other items linked to the daily ritual of home coffee making.
of products, the partnership with this designer leads to “The Campidoglio” tray that, inspired by the famous Rome city square, is the steel version of the one designed for the “Tea & Coffee Piazza” project.
a completely new object independent of any others he has designed. He combines functional innovation with a strong emotional charge, with his objects almost becoming ``characters” in themselves. This functional innovation and expression is also clear in the objects created for Alessi, such as “Pasta Set”, with its mysterious and fascinating shape. No one recognised it as a cooking pot when it was first presented.
communicating feelings, evoking memories, surprising, transgressive, and poetic in nature.
overcrowded consumer society. The company’s relationship with this designer dates back to the mid-1970s, when Alberto Alessi wants to produce the “Arran” tray that Mari had designed for Danese. It only succeeds twenty years later in 1997.
the Swiss architect designes Eye, one of our first watches. Then in the year 2000 he designes the Mia and Tua pair of pitchers, another example of the balanced, direct and meaningful language that marks all his work.
often inspired by the formal language of cartoons, might yield interesting results. Their designs include a very simple tray with little men around the edge, like children’s scissor cutouts. No one could have imagined back then that the “Girotondo” tray would become one of Alessi’s most popular products.
series. These include the “CO1369” toothpick holder and the “Ercolino” bottle opener, wooden products designed with the issues of ecology and natural forms prominently in mind.
works is like a fish twirling in the water, with facings chosen to resemble shiny scales. Indeed, the melodic cap and the handle of the Pito kettle that Gehry designes for Alessi in 1992 are inspired by the form of two jumping fish.
with the use of a non-plastic material. The turn of the millennium sees the close of the ``colourful” period of his first plastic objects because the context had changed, with increasing complexity and economic difficulties. Giovannoni’s desire to go back to steel, a classic, stable and durable material, reflects and responds to this change.
chooses drawing and painting as his main means of expression. This was reflected in his designs for Alessi, when his unusual and wacky pieces such as the “Gino Zucchino” sugar castor or “Inka” press filter coffee maker are joined by objects with soft and pictorial features, such as the “Acquerello” table set and the “All-Time” cutlery set.
Mainly engaging in architecture, Clotet has also performed a few interesting design projects. His elegant mark is found in the beautiful crinkles of the “Foix” tray and other “crumpled” objects like “Port” basket and the “Enriqueta” salad bowl.
or advanced technologies. Metal allows him to experiment with organic features that are then easily transferred to other materials. He creates famous objects for Alessi such as the “Babyboop” vase and hors-d'oeuvre set, the “Chiringuito Shaker” and the “Chiringuito Cooler”.
as the “Socrates” corkscrew, the “Glass Family” glass set or his “Pots&Pans” are characterised by small but significant innovative details, connected to ancient roots.
it was an enormous source of inspiration. I was amazed by the infinite ability of designers and industry to produce every conceivable industrial product, from furniture to cars.” The “Stavros” bottle opener is one of the various objects he has designed for Alessi.
a designer he pays attention to the relationship between object and user, designing areas of choice and interaction within this relationship. The “coffee.it” espresso coffee maker, the “pepper.it” pepper mill or “screw.it” corkscrew are clear examples of this approach.
This aspect is also reflected in his design projects. He designs objects with a ``prototypical`` character, expressing qualities that are timeless and unique.
The fertile exchange between the designer and Alessi has produced a number of interesting projects, such as the “Tonale” table set and the “Piana” folding chair.
by a constant search for new materials and production techniques. This sensitivity to materials is seen in the “Colombina collection”, a table set with an original combination and juxtaposition of white porcelain, bone china and melamine in different colours.
such as the “Bettina” cutlery/flatware set, developed over more than four years. A complex project, it is undoubtedly the most innovative performed by the company in this area.
is also seen in his projects for Alessi, such the “Kaeru” set of two mocha cups with saucers, inspired by water that stagnates around wooden poles or ``MU`` cutlery set ``sharp, but with a touch of elegance and sensitivity ... Linear, but with the biological characteristics of plants...”
first works with Alessi in 2003, on the “Tea & Coffee Towers” project. In 2011 he coordinates Alessi’s (UN)Forbidden City research, when a group of Chinese architects help design of one of the company’s standard products: the tray/container. “Trick and Treat” is his personal contribution to the project.
twentieth century,” said Alberto Alessi. Sejima and her SANAA studio partner Ryue Nishizawa, designed this poetic and refined tea and coffee service. That first project, made of silver, gave rise to equally poetic and delicate product lines, such as the tea cups and pieces of the “Fruit basket” tea service.
different aspects and facets of every project. He brings his acute and refined minimalist style to the Alessi catalogue with a few simple but never banal designs, such as the “Disco Volante” tray and the “Birillo” bathroom series.
the Campana Brothers emphasise this ``radical`` vision with their preference for simple materials and industrial waste. They have followed this philosophy in a number of projects for Alessi, such as the “Blow up” series, an assembly of seemingly random pieces of 18/10 stainless steel rods.
function, but he instead explores new ways of seeing and conceiving that object. These methods involve the active participation and creative input of the user. A true product designer, he has made objects for Alessi that communicate and allow us to communicate such as the “24h Sentence maker” wall clock, the “Communicator arrow” fruit holder, the “Communicator plant” desk organiser and the “Seed safe”.
obvious in the objects designed for Alessi, such as the baskets in the ``La stanza dello Scirocco`` series, born out of a memory of his childhood in Sicily, or “Intanto” flower vases, based on a poetic notion of how a cut flower remains frozen in time.
form”. Her evolving research focuses on varied but related themes, such as new ways of living; the proper use and new types of available space; modularity, appropriation and flexibility; and a highly personalised use of colours. matali researches pastry tools for Alessi with Pierre Hermé.
Nel suo lavoro emerge sovente una tensione critica, civica, “politica”, alla quale si affianca – soltanto
in apparente contraddizione – una ricerca più riflessiva, come quella sulla croce dalla quale è nata la mostra “Cruciale”, presentata a Milano nel 2011. Fra gli oggetti disegnati per Alessi, il set per aperitivi “Ape”, il vassoio “Vassily” e la collezione di accessori per il vino “Noè”.
His work often displays a critical, civic, ``political`` tension, which is combined - only in apparent contradiction
- with more reflexive exploration, such as that on the cross, which led to the “Cruciale” exhibition in Milan in 2011. His designs for Alessi include the “Ape” aperitif set, the “Vassily” tray and the “Noè” collection of wine accessories.
Aarnio dedicates some of his time to creating
small series of objects, such as the ``CrissCross`` multipurpose basket, a transposition for industrial manufacture of a design originally intended for small-scale artisanal production.
behaviour`` are two concepts that express his belief in simplicity as a tool to achieve completeness and a harmonious relationship between object, user and environment. The aim of the designer is thus not to invent new things, but to improve what already exists, designing objects that seem to have been perennially present in our daily lives. His thinking is reflected in the “Shiba” pots and pans series and in the “Cha” kettle/teapot.