Alessi is a family owned Italian design company, founded in 1921. Giovanni Alessi, a talented sheet metal worker, produced items by hand for the table and home out of copper, brass and nickel-silver. He was later joined by his son Carlo who was responsible for many of the designs produced in the 1930s and early 1940s. In the mid 1940s Alessi began to work with outside designers. The current Alessi catalog is the result of a collaboration with over 500 designers from all over the world.
"A true work of design must be able to move people, to convey feelings, to trigger memories, to surprise, to go against the grain. From this point of view, design intended to conjure up images in people's minds, which makes them a bit happier, still has tremendous potential." — Alberto Alessi
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Born in Oleggio (Novara) in 1927, Carlo Mazzeri graduated in architecture from the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice in 1956 and, after an early collaboration with Carlo Scarpa in Venice, with the architect Mario Righini's studio he took part in the competition for the Colonia Olivetti in Brusson and the Carrara Chamber of Commerce, and took one of the top places. In 1957 he designed the cocktail shaker "870" with Luigi Massoni, which was one of the first Alessi objects designed by external collaborators and which is still in production and can be found in bars worldwide. In the '60s and '70s with Anselmo Vitale he designed a complete collection of objects for Alessi which were primarily for use in the hotel industry. He was involved in civil and industrial construction, responsible among other things for the Alessi plant in Omegna (1960-1971), the Girmi electrical household appliances factory (1962) and the Lagostina offices (1964), which were also in Omegna, the renovation of the driers and the new warehouse for 3M Italia in Ferrania (1970) and the Salumificio Romano Mainelli in Oleggio (1972). In the field of industrial design he has also collaborated with Girmi, Lagostina, Bialetti, Indesit, Fonderie Filiberti and Triplex. In 1973 he opened a studio of architecture in Novara, becoming involved in civil architecture, restoration and town planning.
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Anselmo (Nini) Vitale was born in Milan in 1929; he graduated from the Istituto Universitario di Architettura in Venice, where he met Carlo Mazzeri, with whom he started collaborating in 1961 on the design of the Alessi company's "Avio" line. Their collaboration continued with gratifying results through a professional association that lasted more than ten years and through ongoing consultancy work with companies manufacturing household articles and white goods. With the Alessi technical office in particular, the collaboration culminated in the creation of the thermal-insulation ice bucket that won the Macef prize in 1971. Together with Carlo Mazzeri he created "Standard", a professional industrial design studio, designing white goods and household articles. He died prematurely in 1978 at the height of his career as an architect and designer.
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