Fiascos and the verge of the impossible

July 15th, 2014

I always thought Alessi were a pretty grotesque design company, making expensive objects that bastardise functionality and beauty. The classic: Starck’s Juicy Salif, an orange squeezer that appears to reinvent the way we extract juice from citrus fruit with elegance and simplicity, and which makes a whole fucking mess of it. And what’s this? Here I am beguiled by founder Alberto Alessi in a new interview with The Guardian. He calls Alessi customers ‘design victims’ (“Design victims are very important to our business model”) and calls another Starck project, the Hot Bertaa kettle, “a complete fiasco”, going on to say something amazing:

It’s very important to work on the verge of the impossible, without veering into products that people will not understand or buy. We must have one or two fiascos a year to retain our leadership in design.

Maybe that’s a pretty amazing attitude to have.

One response to “Fiascos and the verge of the impossible”

  1. n0wak says:

    Apparently lime presses are a rare thing in the UK so it took some looking to find one. We found one at lakeland and bought it because it was the only one we’d seen for weeks. This one http://www.lakeland.co.uk/17925/Stainless-Steel-Lemon-Squeezer It was shit. It was a lime press trying to look like anything but a lime press and it was awful at what it was meant to do — press limes. These things are common in Mexico and they’re simple and work and all look the same. Like this http://barsupplies.com/images/Lemon&Lime-juicer-bs.jpg because it works. And it worked for over a century. Eventually we found one at Wholefoods because some things don’t need a redesign.

    I do have some Alessi watches though but that’s fine as those are predominantly design accessories these days.