Alberto Alessi on Going Global While Remaining Local

The designer describes retaining his product line’s Italian character in a global market.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: How do you maintain your local identity while appealing to a global market?

Alessi:     I think that our identity of… as an Italian design factory or research laboratory into the field of design stays precisely.  In that, we are able to express different localities or different local cultures represented by our designers.  Because if we work with Philippe Starck, he is representing… And people are looking into… within his projects, expecting to find an expression of French culture.  If we work with Michael Graves, people… The quality of his work stays in the fact that his work is coming out from American culture.  Or with Japanese or Brazilian or British… And the characteristic of preserving this locality, these local cultures is the biggest [strength] that… is one of the skills of the Italian design factories, not global at all.  In a way, we become interesting on a global scenario, right?  Because we represent very specific local cultures, which having presented by our designers.

Question: Where is the future of design?

Alessi:    As far as I can see, this phenomenon of the Italian design factories, which is, today, the kind of hail of all the phenomenon, like the Deutsche of Verbund, the Bauhauser,  the [University] of State and Craft in England and so on, is continuing to act well.  In terms of where the creative energies can come from, I agree that today, in this moment, Italy has a little freshness like we had many years ago.  And there are countries which are apparently, in this moment, more interesting, for example, UK, Japan, even probably US, at least, into the world of architecture if not design.  And so, we are very much looking to these areas.