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Opening time

Today we are open from 10.30 am to 8.30 pm

Opening time

Today we are open from 10.30 am to 8.30 pm

Alessi IN-possible
Before an idea is brought to life

17 DEC 2016 - 8 JAN 2017

Free entrance
Tuesday - Sunday
10.30 am - 8.30 pm
Palazzo della Triennale
A selection of projects that have never seen the light from the Alessi Museum collection

Triennale Design Museum and the Alessi Museum present Alessi IN-possible. Before an idea is brought to life: a selection of projects that have never seen the light and that lift the lid on a less familiar side of the Alessi Museum collection to tell the real story of one of the most important Italian Design Factories.

The factory is a kind of forum where designers, engineers, graphic designers, production technicians and marketing, product and communications managers interact with each other, the end result of which is the industrial product.

The exhibition is dedicated to this dialogue and the many different ways in which it takes place. It has chosen an original point of view: this isn’t the story of products that have been manufactured but those that have never left the design studio. Technical problems and financial limitations are not the only reasons that prevent a project from getting off the ground. Unexpected issues may emerge during the development of a project regarding the expressive aspect of the item, its style or emotional impact.

Ordered chronologically from the 1920s to the present day, the event showcases over 50 projects by some of the most famous Italian and international designers and architects – from Ettore Sottsass, Achille Castiglioni and Aldo Rossi to Philippe Starck, Zaha Hadid, Patricia Urquiola, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec – which never made it onto the production line.

The Alessi Museum collection, comprising 25,000 objects and 19,000 designs, is a fascinating cross-section of contemporary design, an authoritative perspective that helps us understand the thousands of different ways in which the design world can express itself. Sketches, renderings, technical drawings, prototypes of projects that have never been produced, first versions, research into new colours or finishes, prints, semi-finished products… Items that illustrate the complex combination of factors leading to the creation of an industrial product, where higher, cultural and social issues are joined by practical, concrete and financial matters. The meeting between the designer and the company represents a key moment in this process. A meeting of expertise, points of view and skills that shape – as part of what is often a long and laborious process – the product’s arrival on the market. Indeed, an industrial design product is a collective work where the company acts as the “publisher”.

This continuous and open dialogue susceptible to the deviation, sometimes unexpected sees an “In-possibility” become a “Possibility”, as is typical of projects that seek to create innovative items and that therefore tacitly accept risk of an uncertain outcome. Staged in association with the Design Museum Holon in Israel, the exhibition also emphasises this continuity: since its first edition in 2015 in Holon, some projects have gone from ‘impossible’ to being manufactured, whilst others have entered that fertile, formidable hive of activity typical of a research laboratory of the Applied Arts to industry that is Alessi.

The designers: Acconci Studio, Carlo Alessi, Giovanni Alessi, Giovanni Alessi Anghini, Abi Alice, Dror Benshetrit, Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec, Andrea Branzi, Fratelli Campana, Achille Castiglioni, Gary Chang, Gabriele Chiave and LPWK, Lluís Clotet, Silvio Coppola, matali crasset and Frédérick E. Grasser Hermé, Marco Ferreri, Luigi Fiorentino, Greg Lynn – FORM, Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas, Future Systems, Alessandro Gnocchi, Zaha Hadid, Scott Henderson, Giulio Iacchetti, Toyo Ito, Harri Koskinen, Tom Kovac, Defne Koz, Morris Lapidus, Danilo Leonardi and Valentina Antinori – TAGMI, Giovanni Levanti, Elena Manferdini, Richard Meier, Hans Hollein, Alessandro Mendini, Miriam Mirri, Chiara Moreschi, Andrea Morgante, Satyendra Pakhalé, Mimmo Paladino, Pentagon Design, Hani Rashid, Aldo Rossi, Denis Santachiara, Mario Scairato, Ettore Sottsass, Alessandro Stabile, Philippe Starck, Mario Trimarchi, Alessi Technical Office, Patricia Urquiola, and Jakob Wagner.


Curated by Francesca Appiani
Cover photo: Scott Henderson, Spider bowl, 2009

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