Alessi 9090: Cold Press
The factory floor is a city of tall hydraulic presses. Humming and chinking sounds bellow down aisle after aisle. Workers wearing light-blue gloves spray grease onto sheet-metal pieces, place them in a mold, and lower a press. In a single motion, a sheet instantly becomes a cutout shape or molded surface. If the curve of a surface is steep—as is the one on the 9090’s angular boiler body—it acquires its shape after a series of presses that slowly increase the incline. After four to five presses, the metal, having reached the limits of deformation without breaking, spends a night in the annealing furnace. Prolonged heat realigns the molecular structure to maintain ductility.
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- Alessi—In the 1970s, Alessi invested $300,000 to develop its first cooking appliance: a stovetop espresso maker by Richard Sapper.
- After more than 100 steps, the completed parts are ready for packaging.
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Designed by Michael Graves for Alessi in 1985, this water kettle is Alessi's best-selling item.