People

Alberto Alessi

| Designbest editorial staff

T

hroughout the years, many fantastical creatures have come out of Alessi's magical “dream factory”, located in Omegna, on the banks of the Orta lake, North Italy. Alessi is also renowned for building a partnership with some of the key players of Italian design: Alessandro Mendini, Aldo Rossi, Philippe Starck and Stefano Giovannoni. A passion for poetry and all things whimsical: this is the spirit of the brand, which brightens up with a touch of beauty and irony the lives of millions of people around the world. Since the seventies, Alberto Alessi, has been at the reigns of this family firm, originally set up by his grandfather. Year after year, Alberto strives to bring to the market fresh new ideas, flying high the flag of Made in Italy. In fact, it's almost impossible not to notice a clear Italian perspective on design, able to blend traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics and functionality. Alberto Alessi takes his inspiration from the land of dreams; dreams which will most certainly add a little something special to your homes, always surprising us with something new.

What does the word beauty mean for you?
I think that beauty represents the transcendent, anything going beyond what we are able to perceive.

What's the first item, room or place you remember?
A page from il Corrierino dei Piccoli, a children's paper which I used to read, or even better, I used to pretend to read, when I was three years old laying in my parents' comfy bed.

Is there an object you cannot live without?
I do not know if you can consider it an object: but my Toscano cigar (only in the afternoons).

What's you secret corner or hiding place?
The museum I'm building in the attic of my house in Pettenasco sul lago d’Orta.

Which room in your home do you identify with the most?
My private library, which has over 4.500 between books and documents on the history of where my family comes from (Orta and Maggiore lakes, Ossola valley).

Do you allow ugly objects in your home?
Of course. I am very liberal in that respect. Naturally, I tend to surround myself with things I like, therefore I consider them beautiful. But I'm also very much attracted to things with a meaning, and I think this goes beyond beauty and ugliness...What's more, I think I could consider a thing of beauty something that other people consider ugly and vice-versa. What's more we have a really ugly dog which we adore.

What does “design” mean for you?
I think that design is a global creative discipline with an exquisitely artistic and poetic soul, which produces products through industry (but also through craftsmanship).

 If you could be an item of design, what would you like to be and what object you whish you had  invented?

I would really like to be a coffee pot which puffs smoke when the coffee is ready, and I wish I would have designed an extremely comfy armchair (unlike most designer products).

What bores you and what amuses you?
Those who bore me (even more so, unfortunately, and similarly to knowing the certainty of these) meetings of any kind, I love to be alone surrounded by my books.

If you weren't Alberto Alessi, who would you like to be?
Henry Beyle, known as Stendhal (Grenoble 1783-Paris1842). For his writings which are still very relevant.

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