A century has passed since Giovanni Alessi founded the Alessi factory in Omegna, in 1921. But the celebration that has been going on over the last few months in one of the most emblematic “Italian Design Factories” does not take the form of a nostalgic new interpretation, but rather that of a constructive impulse towards the future.
The opportunity to bring the company’s legacy into the future is offered by a line of 12 objects that Alessi is introducing to the public every month, following extensive research in the museum’s archives. Prototypes that have never been launched onto the market or new versions of classics, the objects in the Alessi 100 Values Collection are an opportunity to rediscover some of the cult objects of Italian design and the great masters who created them, but also to question the relevance of the ideas they still convey, the shapes they can still take on and the meaning they can have many years after their creation.
“It’s not always the case that a project created in a certain historical context continues to speak to us, it usually isn’t,” says Alberto Alessi, now President of Alessi and the main initiator and creator of the many dialogues between company and designer - we remember Tea & Coffee Piazza as Form Follows Fiction - that inspired the creation of these objects. “I believe that a number of factors contribute to making an object ‘timeless’, to use a word that is very fashionable today... as far as I’m concerned, for example, a fundamental characteristic of a project is that it must be able to evoke the historical moment in which it was created in a strong, unequivocal and poetic way”.
Representing a corporate and cultural tradition, the Alessi 100 Values Collection thus seems to embody not only a corporate identity but also the mediation work carried out by design companies, holding the balance of power between an entrepreneurial vision, the presumed demand of the market and the multiple creative interpretations that designers can give to a need, a desire or a pretext. A characteristic that also becomes a hope for the future, not only for the development of Alessi but also for that of the entire Italian sector, which has become the bearer of this dialogue and translation method, of this triangulation between the main players in the supply chain. “I hope,” continues Alberto Alessi, “that we will be able to continue to play our role as mediators between the Immensity of the Creative Possible on the one hand (represented by the most interesting designers of the period) and the “needs” (or rather the dreams, the imagination) of the public. In short, I would like for this phenomenon to last for a few years (even less than 100): when someone is looking for the best examples of French, English or Brazilian design, they have to resort to the catalogues of the “Italian design factories”.
In this selection of images, the objects from the Alessi 100 Values Collection that have been released since last May and have been included in the company catalogue or distributed in limited editions.