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Alessi: 2020 in five words

| Designbest editorial staff

Alberto Alessi, President of Alessi s.p.a. and head of design management, strategic marketing and communication, was born in Arona, Italy in 1946. The eldest son in the third generation of Alessi, he entered the company after having studied law. After a first production of real and true artist multiples (Alessi d’apres), he developed a vision of an aesthetic universe of industrial objects with a strong expressive component, and took on a prominent role in the company managed by the family-owned group. In 1970, he started collaborating with Alessandro Mendini, a central figure for the brand, and developed an extensive network of collaborations with architects and designers throughout the world, making a decisive contribution in Alessi’s transformation into one of the biggest names in international design. An author of various books, he collaborates with magazines and international design publications.  Alongside his design management business, he works as a winemaker on the banks of Lake Orta with his label “La Signora Eugenia e il passero solitario”, implementing his vision of a journey that goes from the cultivation of the product to the art of serving serving it at the table.

Alberto Alessi a Alberto Alessi tells Designbest about the five keywords for Alessi in 2020:  


“I am convinced that in human society, and therefore in the market, there is an enormous need for art and poetry for everybody, even the less cultured part of the public. Even if they don’t realize it. A need for art and poetry is growing year after year and is no longer exclusively satisfied by classical means, which in the past were entrusted with fulfilling this demand. In other words, in the past art was found in museums and poetry in books, and when one felt the need to feed his or her artistic needs, one went to museums or visited a cathedral or opened a book poetry. Today it’s no longer like this, the changes in our society have brought all of us to desire art in every moment of our daily lives. I therefore believe that design is one of the most quintessential art forms of our times.”


“The role that Alessi performs, or that I perform in Alessi, is the role of artistic mediator, which deep down is very close to the work of a gallerist or museum curator, a conductor, those who work in different artistic fields but who always mediate and don’t, as I hope you all know, directly create in the classic sense of “making art”. Even if once in a while people say that I am a designer, I have never designed anything and I have no desire to design, I am essentially an artistic mediator.”


“The true objective of industrial design has always been to try and bring the highest quality, the highest artistic and cultural quality, possible to the project together with being understood by the largest audience possible. This is clearly a theory which I strongly believe in, but which in reality is very difficult to achieve. The great French-American designer Raymond Loewy in the thirties coined the term, a very interesting acronym, M.A.YA (Most Advanced Yet Acceptable), which is to say bringing the highest possible quality without losing sight of the greater public. The role of a “Factory of Italian Design” like Alessi is to try and work in this direction.”


“In the creation of products of Italian design, the intuition and sensibility of the designer, and to a lesser degree, the designer manager, technicians, and company marketing director as well, is by far the most important quality to safeguard.”


“Being Italian is the quintessential expression of our culture, and it unites all of our products as if it were the common thread, despite the high number of designers in our catalog of various nationalities and styles. I think that this common thread is represented by the cultural project which is at the foundation of our activity as mediators between the best expressions of contemporary creativity and the desires of the public. This characteristic of ours, typical of the Factories of Italian Design, is certainly an aspect that, especially in a historic period like the one we are experiencing, must be constantly taken care and never lost sight of.”



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