Five Answers from Alberto Alessi

Posted by: Reena Jana on March 03, 2009

Alberto Alessi, the managing director of renowned Italian design company Alessi, visited the BusinessWeek headquarters today—and he sat down and addressed five questions from our readers. His answers might surprise some of you. He hinted at Alessi’s first fashion project, to debut later this year. And he stated that Alessi does not have a deliberate “sustainable” or “green” design strategy. (Instead, the company engineers items to last a lifetime and beyond. Because owners don’t have to replace them regularly, they’re not contributing to landfill too often, so, Alessi says, his company’s products can be seen as environmentally friendly). He also named his favorite Alessi product to date — an espresso machine by design icon Richard Sapper, known for his work for IBM. And he talked about how Northern Italy is an innovation cluster that attracts industrial design talent from around the world. Enjoy Alessi’s interview, below, and thanks for the great questions.

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What comes next? The BusinessWeek Innovation and Design team of Michael Arndt and Helen Walters chronicle new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.

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