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The Moka Alessi coffee maker, created by Alessandro Mendini, has a round shape that expresses its relationship with the traditional moka. An espresso coffee maker in aluminium casting with an ergonomic handle and thermoplastic resin knob. A real and proper eulogy to the daily coffee rite.
Moka Alessi was created out of the desire to pay homage to the classic moka designed in the 1930s and that has become a popular item over the years. Alessandro Mendini accepted the challenge of re-interpreting this cult object in a contemporary way. Moka Alessi has a formal character that can be immediately recognized, a round-shaped coffee pot that makes the vertical conicality of traditional moka sinuous. For every else, Mendini respected the details of traditional moka, trying to improve its technical aspects, for example by increasing the thickness of aluminium and optimizing the capacity of the boiler. Moka Alessi contributes to the emergence of a new, intimate and homely ritual.
Alessandro was born in Milan in 1931 and graduated in 1959. He is an architect, artist, designer and design manager, theorist and journalist and began his profession at the Nizzoli studio. In 1970 he gave up planning to concentrate on journalism relating to architecture and design: He has edited Casabella, Modo and Domus through which he has transmitted his ideas of renewing the world of design. Along with Branzi and Sottsass and with his presence in Global Tools and Radical design, he was the main force behind the renovation of Italian design in the 80’s. In the late 70’s he went back to designing and various projects and in 1979 joined the Alchimia Studio. This group of radical designers in the 80’s in Memphis had upset functionalist designers by designing objects for sheer artistic pleasure and by referring to popular culture and kitsch. This was well outside the norms of industrial production and practicality. With Alchima he created objects, furniture, environments, paintings, installations and architectural works. Among his most significant works during this period were the Groningen Museum and the reinvention of the Alessi image for whom he is meta-projectual consultant. In 1989 he opened the Atelier Mendini in Milan with his brother Francesco and continued his career as a sophisticated, pop designer. The key element is always a clever hybrid between art and design resulting in popular objects that achieve great commercial success. He died on 18 February 2019.