October 8, 2012
by Canadian Architect
The new Alessi autumn/winter 2012 collection includes many new names, mostly young foreign designers whose projects have been developed in the course of two thematic workshops. The first, held in the late autumn of 2009 in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, at the prestigious Cranbrook Academy of Art, founded by George Booth in the early 1930s and then directed by Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen. This project focused on contemporary American product design from the tradition of silversmithing and metalsmithing, under the direction of program director and metalsmithing artist in residence Scott Klinker. Four items designed at the workshop have been produced for the Alessi catalogue: a flower vase called the Pinch Vase and the multipurpose V-tray, designed by Adam Shirley; the Trellis fruit bowl designed by Scott Klinker; and the Dear Charlie banana holder, a new product type for the Alessi Encyclopedia by John Truex.
Professor Elric Petit led the second workshop in 2010 with students of Ecal, the Lausanne University of Art and Design. The results of this research were premiered at the 2011 Milan Furniture Fair, and now five of the 18 designs developed around the theme of work in the office or home are finally entering the Alessi catalogue. The chosen items are: Fierzo, a desk organizer that doubles as a divider – designed by Julie Richoz; Filo, a minimalist tape dispenser from Marie Schenker; Frana, an ingenious pencil case designed by Christophe Guberan; Graffetta, the multipurpose wall hook by Marie-Anne Le Corre; and the mysterious Spettro, a magnetic paper clip holder designed by Matthieu Girel.
The collaboration between designers and internationally renowned cooks looking for new sensory experiences in the preparation and presentation of food, has led to a small and sophisticated set of objects, the result of the meeting between French designer Christian Ghion and star chef Pierre Gagnaire. Their analysis of utensils for cooking and serving eggs led to the creation of the Le Nid ramekin, the Trio cooking and serving utensil, the original stackable Atomium egg cup, and the Pinpin baguette basket. All these designs are closely linked to the recipes and cooking methods proposed by the chef in a cookbook that accompanies the packaging.
Two sets of pots designed by Marcel Wanders and Elisa Giovannoni offer new tools for food preparation. The Dressed collection by Marcel Wanders applies the same rich, expressive decoration, mixing flowers and the Baroque, successfully used in the Dressed tableware launched in 2011. Although hidden in barely visible parts of the object such as under the handles and the bottoms, the decoration of these cooking utensils helps to turn the kitchen into an increasingly user-friendly space. The lids and handles are Made in Alessi, molded and stamped in stainless steel at the company’s headquarters in Crusinallo, while the containers are made in aluminum with high-quality non-stick Teflon Platinum Plus coating.
A completely different approach was taken for the Domenica pots by Elisa Giovannoni: a few essential and versatile items in multi-ply, including low casserole, casserole, steaming basket, and the first wok in the history of Alessi. They are all capacious with large handles, for cooking and easy serving to large numbers of diners. The service comes with a set of six kitchen utensils in steel and PA.
Marcel Wanders has also designed an amusing folding stand in stainless steel called Fatman. The company has applied a colour directly to steel for the very first time, to create a clown in colourful garb on a large round surface. A small head with a ruffled collar, which acts as a closure, represents the icon-caricature designed by Wanders.
The Bouroullec brothers have proposed two new colour versions to their Ovale table service, launched in 2010, which is now offered in pink and light grey versions. For the autumn/winter 2012 collection, they have added a full cutlery service in a simple modern design.
The heart shape, often used by Miriam Mirri, also appears in the To mug and You tea infuser, the latest designs by Mirri. The latter, a stainless steel elongated cone, holds and allows the leaves to infuse inside the bone china mug.
Giulio Iacchetti has created a new objet bijou for the Alessi catalogue. Excited by the creativity that led to the Uselen letter opener, the designer has come up with a new variation on the theme with Pes.
The new items for the Alessi brand also include three additions to existing sets: the wonderful Mediterraneo family designed by LPWK – Emma Silvestris, now has a bowl in thermoplastic resin, used in conjunction with the perforated fruit bowl by the same designer and in the new Platinum White colour. On the occasion of the 2012 London Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, the Alessandro M. corkscrew by Alessandro Mendini appears in the guise of the British Royal Guard. The round Op-la table, whose support surface turns quickly into a convenient tray, the first piece of Alessi furniture designed in 1998 by Jasper Morrison, is available in new blue and grey versions.
The A di Alessi Catalogue also includes some food preparation utensils. One of these is the set of six single-dose Il Tempo della Festa food molds, designed by Mario Trimarchi with the help of Alberto Gozzi, who also contributed by writing a cookbook for sweet and savory dishes. The same catalog includes Progiotti cookie cutters in the shape of iconic Alessi products, which help create very special recipes. The exclusive gift box, designed by Giovanni Alessi Anghini, contains a unique recipe by Alberto Gozzi and suggests an original idea for the coming holiday seasons.
The Alessi Christmas this year will be even more fun with the new sets of figures designed by LPWK – Massimo Giacon. Melone the dog and Ciccio the cat, Giulietta and Loca, and Peter and his pig Palla are new additions to the nativity scene, whose cave is now also available in blue.
The A di Alessi catalogue contains an amazing new product type, the Palle Presepe by Meranese artist Marcello Jori with LPWK. Ten large blown glass ornaments represent the various characters of the nativity scene in an entirely new way: the Holy Family, the ox, the donkey, the Three Wise Kings, the angel and the shooting star. This original solution combines the traditions of the tree and the nativity scene.
A number of famous Alessi icons round off the additions to the A di Alessi range. These include the new Magneti (magnets) collection, with the Anna G. and Alessandro M. corkscrews by Alessandro Mendini, the Magic Bunny toothpick holder and the Cico Egg Cup by Stefano Giovannoni.
Two sophisticated new items make their appearance in the Officina Alessi catalogue. The Liconi centrepiece designed by Pierfrancesco Cravel reproduces the morphology of a panorama of Valle d’Aosta, with its lake and surrounding mountains. Manufactured in stainless steel with a polished finish using the technique of molding and stamping, it represents a major technical achievement. The item was envisaged as a miniature landscape that could be displayed irrespective of its use. Produced in association with the Valle d’Aosta region, the design comes with a QR code and an URL engraved on the surface for consulting information and viewing images by the photographer Armin Linke and the video artist Virgilio Villoresi.
The collection of Il Tempo della Festa food molds by Mario Trimarchi, made of silicone for the A di Alessi brand, is offered for Officina Alessi in a refined and exclusive version: two large cake pans, Kugelhof and Savarin, made of copper as architectural objects for passionate collectors.
alessi products designed at the famed cranbrook academy of art - on display at ICFF new york 2012