Alessi filter through thousands of product design proposals every year and they spend time choose the best ones and even longer in the development stage to ensure everything is perfect. Sometimes a product can be in development typically for 1-2 years but sometimes it has been know to be up to 9 years for certain designs that are more complex. To assess the products which are chosen they work on a formula based on 4 things functionality, price, communication and what does the product say about me if I own it as a customer and to what guests may say about it if they visit your house.
In today’s throwaway society there are few products with a shelf life of 20 years never mind 90 years which is why there designs are timeless and considered classics. The products are not developed to make money, they are released to express the idea of the designer and to create emotion in the person that buys the product, uses it or looks at it.
The Alessi owner Alberto does not consider the Alessi design headquarters to be a normal factory but an applied research laboratory harnessing the ideas of the best designers pushing the boundaries of materials such as stainless steel, thermoplastic and glass. Some products are so extraordinary no other manufacturer would attempt them and it is a high risk strategy but one they often get right. For example the idea behind the Melodic kettle by Richard Sapper was to create a harmonious noise when boiled and not a screeching sound like a standard hob kettle. It took 3 years of research to bring the kettle in to production because it s dome shape and the whistle took a full 12 months to get the notes to sound right including roping in a saxophone company for there expertise. The sound could not be created and the kettle was not going to be made until the researchers found an artisan in the black forest who made tuning pipes thus the right notes were created and the kettle became a huge success.
With so many hits sometimes designs can become a miss including the Alessi Hot Bertaa kettle by Philippe Starck the steam it produced ended up coming through the handle and it getting too hot to hold despite 5 years of research and development. Alessi don’t mind the risk though as it shows that it is on the borderline of what is possible and what is not. The product was never released but as a miniature collectable.
There extensive products range includes 1000s of designs massively extended there range to bathroom accessories, phones, watches, home accessories, tableware and kitchenware. Designs 55 are product to be an Alessi UK stockist and we have most of the range available to purchase in our online store.