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Alessi factory, Crusinallo, Italy

Sunday, November 04, 2001 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

Founded in 1921, Alessi has become a renown purveyor of hip, elegant utensils. Combining the slickness of mechanized production with a tradition of skilled, labor-intensive work, Alessi fulfilled the needs and dreams of many design-conscious kitchen owners. Located in the town of Crusinallo, an hour drive from Milan, the Alessi factory is in a region of Italy recognized for its metalwork since the 17th century.

Alessi has been a venerable member of that tradition ever since Giovanni Alessi first opened its factory doors.

Alberto Alessi, Giovanni's grandson, has been heading the company since 1970. He has been credited for recruiting some of the best and most well-known designers to contribute their designs to Alessi's stable of products. These designers include Ettore Sottsass, Richard Sapper, Achille Castiglioni, Michael Graves, Aldo Rossi, and Philippe Starck. It was also Alberto who was responsible for Alessi’s move beyond metalwork to produce designs in ceramic, wood, and plastic. Who else but Alessi would commission Philippe Starck to design a plastic fly-swatter, Dr. Fly, turning an old-fashioned and obscure object into a design status symbol?