The Alessi 9090
Alessi—In the 1970s, Alessi invested $300,000 to develop its first cooking appliance: a stovetop espresso maker by Richard Sapper. The northern Italian family business had made stainless steel serving accessories for decades, but the risk of engineered cookware proved contentious. Alberto Alessi’s uncle, Ettore, the technical guru, was so incensed by the project’s challenges that he once stormed out of a meeting, “leaving me and Sapper very embarrassed,” Alessi recalls. Today, the 9090 is an icon housed in the MoMA collection, and Alessi produces 50,000 of them a year.
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- The factory floor is a city of tall hydraulic presses. Humming and chinking sounds bellow down aisle after aisle.
- After more than 100 steps, the completed parts are ready for packaging.
- Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welds and spot-welds join the molded parts.
- Alessi uses two types of 18/10 stainless steel (the number refers to the chromium-to-nickel ratio): 2B, with a carbon content of 0.2 percent, is more malleable and less shiny than BA, which has 0.4…
These jaunty, tapered mills are designed for a comfortable grip on the exterior and a smooth grind on the interior, thanks to ceramic grindstones.
- Italian designer and architect Alessandro Mendini, born in Milan in 1931, joined forces with the Italian design factory Alessi in the late 1970s as a kind of Postmodernist design mentor for the…
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- We love to break down the intricate steps that go into making our favorite furniture, products, prefabs and more.