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Apart from metalworking, woodworking is the other ancient and traditional production method in the area where Alessi has its roots: the Strona valley in northern Piedmont, Italy. So as not to lose this precious link with tradition, in 1988 Alessi acquired the oldest original company in the valley, Battista Piazza 1865. A number of historic objects from the early 20th century have been reissued. Between the 1980s and 1990s, Ettore Sottsass, together with the young designers in his studio, was the main designer of the Twergi line in wood.
Born in Innsbruck in 1917, he is known the world over as one of the initiators of the revolution in architecture and design which led away from the rigid functionalism of the years prior to and following the Second World War. A great and influential Maestro of Italian design, the energy of his language and the vitality of his colour and line contrast sharply with any intellectualism and rigidity. He dies in December 2007.