The emblem of the Made in Italy in the world, Alessi was founded by Giovanni Alessi in 1921 in Omegna. The company is a leader in the domain of complements for the house, cooking accessories, dining table accessories and accessories for the personal care. At the beginning of its activity, most of the products were the outcome of metal cold working performed by specialized workers in the Crusinallo factory in Omegna. Still today, many products go through the same process; however, next to those, a number of other items come to life through the working of new materials that Alessi has introduced and started using and forging over time, namely plastic, glass, porcelain. Each of them features a particular manufacturing technique fine-tuned and applied at the premises of the original building and in the several production sites the company can count in different world locations. Alessi is the father of some of the most popular icons of contemporary design among which Philippe Starck’s Juicy Salif squeezers and Anna G.’s corkscrew, designed by Alessandro Mendini. Exclusive products, with a sophisticate design, selection and manufacturing of the materials.
Alessi, the factory of Italian design
Originally born as a small artisan laboratory called “Mechanic garage for the working of brass an alpacca slabs with foundry”, Alessi has always preserved that artisan character, combining it with the most modern industrial technologies, a characteristic that had established it as a truthful “Factory of the Italian design”. Starting from the ‘30s Carlo, Giovanni’s son, a very young industrial designer, initiated a fervid work to design a large number of objects by experimenting with the use of stainless steel and transforming the handcrafted production process into an industrial one. The ‘50s saw the sprouting of collaborations with external designers and a production mainly destined to hotels and bars. For the first time in 1957 some of the Alessi’s creations were selected to be exhibited at the XI Triennale of Milan, as a renowned example of an “art house” design production. Heading the company since 1970, Alberto Alessi has been increasingly pushing the company towards pursuing an aesthetic value, besides the functional one; that has implied the constant study of the emotions an object can trigger, without overlooking the experimentation of new materials and technologies. This has been possible thanks to the collaboration with some among the most famous designers and architects on the international scene, namely Franco Sargiani, Ettore Sottsass, Richard Sapper, Achille Castiglioni, Alessandro Mendini, Aldo Rossi, Michael Graves, Philippe Starck.
Awards and acknowledgments
Some of the products from Alessi have become fully-fledged design icons and have been acknowledged important awards. Richard Sapper’s 9090 coffe maker won the 1979 Compasso d’Oro and the 1983 Frankfurt Design Plus awards. In 1984 the Compasso d’Oro prize went to the Dry cutlery designed by Achille Castiglioni. Among the most recent awards there are the Design Plus and Good Design Award for the Pulcina coffee maker, designed in 2015 by Michele de Lucchi. In July 2017 Alessi received as a company the prestigious recognition that made it part of the B Corp, the companies that not only make out profit of their mission, but that also distinguish themselves for the attention to their employees, the society of the places where they work and the environment, by advancing and carrying out projects aimed at the society and the planet wellbeing. As of today, Alessi is among the top 50 Italian companies that hold this certification and the only one operating in the domain of the Italian design.
The Alessi Museum
Launched in 1998, the Alessi Museum was born with an intention to create a place where to collect and give value to the full patrimony that Alessi has managed to build over time. A cross section of the history of the Italian design, especially shedding the light on the production of objects for domestic use, from the kitchen to the table, small appliances, furnishing elements, lighting. Besides the 50.000 among objects, drawings, pictures in permanent exhibition, the Museum also houses temporary exhibitions and events in harmony with the mission and brand that the company has always embodied since the beginning of its activity, that is to say going beyond profit to somehow serve the entire society and being recognized as an excellence of the Italian design.
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