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Objects and Projects

Alessi's exhibit looks to the future of design by taking hints from the past

by Ami Kealoha in Design on 13 August 2010

When Munich's Die Neue Sammlung museum asked Alessi to plot the future of design, the Italian design lab, along with curator Alessandro Mendini, realized that their future lies in the simplicity of the past. The resulting exhibit, "Objects and Projects - Alessi: History and Future of an Italian Design Factory" explores the concept with a collection of their iconic greatest hits, a look at their present-day successes, and a forward-thinking series of 12 prototypes and reissues (nine of which are already slated to go into production).

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Below we highlight a few of our favorite of the products—both those that channel their meticulous design roots and re-conceived classics from the '30s and '60s.

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A Tempo

Taking a graphical look at wire, Pauline Deltour's "A Tempo" range includes two fruit bowls, a dish rack and a trash bin that express "a breath of fresh hope and newness." The contemporary collection heralds Alessi's beginning with its packing—a simple sheet of paper wrapped around each object.

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Memories From The Future

A re-release of classic Alessi models, the "Memories From The Future" range represents a time (roughly 1920s-40s) that founder Carlo Alessi called "pre-design." As he further explains, these products differ from contemporary design projects because they were "heavily influenced by almost obsessive attention to function, proper manufacturing methods and production costs." Designed by Alessi and the Ufficio Tecnico Alessi, the products span tea pots to liquor flasks.

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Miriorama

Meaning "endless visions," the Gruppo T-designed Miriorama collection uses kinetic objects for a beautiful combinion of art and design. The works, a "state of thought" rather than just physical objects, were originally produced in editions of only ten pieces in 1960. Alessi is re-releasing the series, but in a limited edition of 99 pieces.

"The show" runs through 19 September 2010.

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