Alessi is known for its fun, lively and colourful designer homeware. Being asked to come up with a new product for the company is surely one of the greatest honours that a full-time designer could hope for.
In this article, we’ll look at four Alessi classics aimed squarely at youngsters. These products prove that design need not be exclusive, and kids can always get in on the fun.
The Duck Timer
Every kid loves baking cakes, and with this funky Alessi timer, there’s no chance of burning their creation. The duck timer is 13 cm tall and works on batteries, with a discreet start/ stop button and a reset button on the top. To set the timer, twist the duck’s head. When the time’s up, you’ll hear a fun quack to tell you that your goodies are ready.
The duck timer comes in black, white and yellow and was designed by Eero Aarnio, creator of the classic Globe chair and the hanging transparent ball chair, both 1960s icons in their own right.
The Cico Egg Cup
Available in a variety of colours, the Cico is a modern Alessi classic. Your boiled egg sits snugly inside the head, while the spoon can be stowed in the character’s hand. On the top, Cico’s hat becomes a handy salt shaker.
The Cico egg cup was designed for Alessi by Stefano Giovannoni, a technical and industrial designer with a degree in architecture. He has designed other kitchenware for Alessi, including an egg holder for boiling with a chicken perched on top. As design assignments go, that job has to be one of the best.
The Children’s Cutlery Set
Made from resin, the Alessibambino cutlery set stands on its own two feet. The set consists of a knife, fork and spoon in green, pink or clear, great for making mealtimes fun. Since 2004, the cutlery set has been a staple in the Alessi range.
Designed by Massimo Giacon, the children cutlery evoke memories of comic books, cartoons and childhood inspiration. That could be because Giacon is a comic book artist with a range of design jobs under his belt. He has even designed for magazines such as Elle, Glamour and Noise.
The Gianni Jar
Cookies have never looked so appealing. The Gianni jar is one of Alessi’s most recognisable kitchen items, and it’s ideal for storing kids’ treats and biscuits. Manufactured in a range of sizes and colours, Gianni’s genius is that the design is inside the jar – not on its surface.
Mattia Di Rosa is responsible for Gianni, and his youthful take on kitchenalia reflects the fact that he’s one of Alessi’s youngest contributors. Despite his relative youth, Di Rosa has been contributing new designs to the Alessi catalogue for more than 20 years, making his contributions practically regular.
Although it has roots in industrial design, the Italian design house has proven that products can be fun as well as functional. Next time you’re shopping for kids’ accessories or looking for fun gift ideas, remember the amazing innovation that Alessi’s team of designers have brought us over the last century.