‘Made’ in England? : The Mediation of Alessi S.p.A
The discourse surrounding Italian design often invokes the notion, myth or unofficial brand of ‘made in Italy’ as shorthand for indicating the quality and specialness of Italian design. This chapter interrogates ‘made in Italy’ more closely. It challenges the production emphasis of ‘made’ with an understanding that products are as much ‘made’ through their consumption and mediation as they are through their manufacture. The chapter also replaces a focus on that which occurs ‘in Italy’ with a case-study analysis of what happens outside Italy (in England in this example) for better understanding the significance of Italian design. It does this through analysis of a variety of discourses from vanity publishing and press releases, to interviews with designers, manufacturers, retailers, commentators and consumers, and statistical information about sales and magazine circulation.