METAL WORKSHOP: Cranbrook for Alessi
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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.

Trellis perforated fruit bowl prototypes by Scott Klinker (first image also)

The group of designers

Other prototypes from the workshop:

Vessel studies by Iris Eichenberg

Poured metal vessels by David Schafer

Pressed and deformed solid steel by Richard Elaver

Parts of the exhibition at the Alessi Soho store:

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.

Caroline Williamson is Editorial Director of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.