Presentation on theme: "Alessi: Family Follows Fiction"— Presentation transcript:
1 Alessi: Family Follows Fiction Brixen, September 15, 2006
2 Agenda Company overview Open innovation process Process structureCentro Studi Alessi: gatekeeperImportance of external designersA breakthrough innovation: Family Follows FictionConceptActor Network theory (ANT)Application of the ANT
3 The corkscrew Anna G., the bottle opener Diabolix, the eggcup Cico and the famous lemon squeezer Juicy Salif designed by Philippe Starck for Alessi.
4 Company historyIn 1921 Giovanni Alessi bought a plot of land at Omegna and founded AlessiThe company started to develop a design style of its own only during the thirties, when Carlo Alessi joined the companyIn the early seventies Alberto Alessi, Carlo’s son, started since the beginning of his career in Alessi to deal with new-products development, marketing and communicationIn subsequent years several other designers started to collaborate with Alessi: Coppola, Grignani, Tovaglia, Confalonieri, Sottsass, Sapper, Rossi, Castiglioni, Mari, Starck, Graves, etc.The end of the nineties marks Alessi's last evolution. The "dream factory" has become a research laboratory in the field of applied arts
5 Economic figuresNowadays the company employs about 500 people, who are directly involved in project development, production, sales and distributionTurnover around 100 million euroAlessi is exporting the 65% of its turnover to over 60 countries5000 points of sale, 14 Alessi stores (Showroom and Flagship), 175 Shop in shopAlessi headquarters bears the mark of the Atelier MendiniThe Alessi company has recently obtained an exclusive concession by Fiera Milano, an entire pavilion inside the “exhibition centre”
6 Open innovation process Process fundamentally based on creativity and on long-lasting strict personal relationships between Alessi and its external designersHomogeneous set of organizational routines through which each new project is conceived, evaluated and its essential ‘design philosophy’ maintainedMetaproject -> BriefWorkshop -> Evaluation & “Desiderata”EngineeringCONTINUOUS RESEARCHMETA-PROJECTWORKSHOPENGINEERINGEvaluation & DesiderataKnowledge about socio-cultural trendsBrief
7 Centro Studi Alessi: the gatekeeper Centro Studi Alessi (CSA) was conceived at the end of the 80s from an idea of Alberto Alessi, Alessandro Mendini and Laura PolinoroCSA pursued the need to experiment new ways and methodology to design in order to work with young designers with a fresh approach
8 Centro Studi Alessi: the gatekeeper Research provides theoretical foundations for the elaboration of the concept on which the metaproject will be basedThe Metaproject defines the typologies of objects to design, collects the company's needs, and gives the esthetical criteria as well as the cultural and visual stimuli to the designersThrough the Workshop the metaproject is elaborated and ideas exchanged with the selected designers and the technical team of AlessiThe first two operations - metaprojects conceptualized and coordinated by Laura Polinoro for CSA were: "Memory Containers" and "Family Follows Fiction - FFF"Il processo è strutturato in modo da poter captare dall’esterno stimoli e conoscenzaSottolinerare Workshop come momento di integrazione/condivisione/sviluppoCSA come gatekeeperConoscenza arriva dall’esterno
9 Importance of external designers NameCountry of OriginBorn1st Alessi collaborationEttore SottsassItaly19171976Alessandro Mendini19311977Richard SapperGermany19321979Aldo Rossi1931 (deceased 1997)1980Achille Castiglioni1918 (deceased 2002)1982Micheal GravesUnited States19341985Stefano Giovannoni19541986Philippe StarckFrance1949Guido Venturini1957Enzo Mari1989Frank GehryCanada19291992Marco Zanuso19161995George SowdenUnited Kingdom19421997Ron AradIsrael19511998Sir Norman Foster1935Jasper Morrison1959Marc NewsonAustralia19631999Alessi’s Maestros, in 2003 Alessi listed, among others, the following designers in its catalogue and on its website (Moon Y, Dessain V and Sjöman A. Alessi: Evolution of an Italian Design Factory (B). Harvard Business School, 2004)
10 Family Follows Fiction Alessi stimulated a group of designers to explore the creative potential of plastics, that they had not probably considered designing for Alessi in the past, due to the company’s focus on steel products and technologiesProducts that satisfied user experiences such as, the need for tenderness, delicacy and intimacy. They felt the need to shake off their parameters
11 Actor Network Theory (ANT) Sociology (‘80s)Principal referencesCallon M, Law J and Rip A (1986). Mapping the Dynamics of Science and Technology: Sociology of Science in the Real World, Macmillan Press, London.Latour B (1986). Visualization and Cognition: Thinking with Eyes and Hands, in Knowledge and Society: Studies in Sociology of Culture Past and Present, 6, ppLatour B (1987). Science in Action, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press.Bijker W.E., Law J., Shaping Technology/ Building Society. Studies in Sociotechnical Change, Cambridge, Massachusetts/ London, England: The MIT Press, ppPrincipal conceptsActant (human and not human)NetworkMeaning
12 Fonte: Tesi di laurea “Actor Network Theory: un nuovo approccio per l’analisi di innovazioni design driven. Applicazione ai casi di Alessi, Apple e Kartell” di Erica Loviso
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