Italianita and Internationalism: production, design and mediation at Alessi 1976-96
This article considers the Italian household product design company Alessi as quintessentiall y Italian and international . The interplay of mass-production and craft techniques at Alessi, an extended design process and the presentation of the family in company publicity exemplify the ambiguities identiŽ ed within Italian design. The extent to which Alessi typiŽ es Italian post-war design is questioned with reference to the company’s international design team and the marketing of its products to foreign consumers as manifestations of italianita`. The Ž ndings are based on primary research in Milan and the Alessi factory, including a series of interviews with designers, retailers, curators and media workers, combined with secondary material centred upon design history.