Legendary Italian design company Alessi partnered with the equally notorious Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2009 for a collaborative workshop through 3D design and metals called Cranbrook for Alessi. The group of Cranbrook designers included: Adam Shirley, Seth Papac, Katie MacDonald, David Schafer, Jonathan Muecke, Patrick Gavin, John Truex, Richard Nelipovich and Suzanne Beautyman, all lead by Cranbrook 3D Designer-in-Residence, Scott Klinker, and Metalsmithing Artist-in-Residence, Iris Eichenberg. The goal was to “search for new forms in metal through a hands-on, craft process in the metal shop.”

The results were presented at an exhibition entitled METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi coinciding with the re-launch of the flagship Alessi store in Soho, along with ICFF and New York Design Week. Four of the designs created during the workshop are currently in production for Alessi and are aiming for a 2012 launch date.

Design Milk had the privilege of attending the opening event on May 21st during which Scott Klinker discussed the background of the workshop and showed the process of the designs coming to fruition.

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category
Trellis perforated fruit bowl prototypes by Scott Klinker (first image also)

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category
The group of designers

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category

Other prototypes from the workshop:

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category
Vessel studies by Iris Eichenberg

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category
Poured metal vessels by David Schafer

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category
Pressed and deformed solid steel by Richard Elaver

Parts of the exhibition at the Alessi Soho store:

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category

METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi in news events home furnishings art  Category

During the entire design workshop, the designers kept a private blog of the process, using it to correspond with Alberto Alessi himself. They’ve now opened up the blog to the public, so you can follow along with them as they progressed and discussed the designs with Alessi. Read it here.

Stay tuned for the final pieces, being released soon.

Make sure to check out rest of our New York Design Week and ICFF coverage.