Alberto Alessi Remembers the Sapper Water Kettle

The designer tells the story of a kettle from the Black Forest.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: What is one design that really impressed you?

Alessi:    Going back to this example of Richard Sapper water kettle.  This was a good example because Richard wanted to have a polysensorial, multisensorial object.  I mean, an object not appealing only to the seeing or touching but also to other senses, for example, hearing.  He wanted to produce a melody.  Not only that, he wanted a melody… remembering when he was a child and living in Germany, in a village with a river, and on the river, was passing by a steamboat.  He wanted his kettle producing the same melody.  After, like, one and a half year, my technicians were not able to find a way so he was obliged to put the project on the side and to abandon it.  Until… Then, 2 years later, one of Sapper’s sisters, living in Germany, found out in the Black Forest, there’s more craftsman producing the quarries.  Quarries are these pipes that you put inside and that are producing the melody.  So after some negotiation, we had a special production of 2 different versions of pipes, with a E and with a C.  Which allow me to start again with the project, were, then, was present in ’82 and became one of the most important Alessi product.