Gifts Today magazine

Iconic Alessi kettle hits 30

Alessi celebrates the 30th anniversary of the 9093 kettle by Michael Graves with a new special edition

Designed by Michael Graves in 1985, the Alessi whistling kettle with the famous bird on its spout became one of the icons of 20th century design, a successful product that has sold 1.5 million pieces.

Today it can be found in museums and permanent collections of international institutions all over the world including the Design Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Für Gestaltung Museum in Zurich and The Australian National Gallery in Canberra.

To mark the 30th anniversary of this famous kettle, Alessi President Alberto Alessi asked his longtime friend and design hero Michael Graves to revisit his celebrated design. Graves decided to pay homage to the kettle by turning the little bird into a charming supernatural reptile that is prehistoric, mythological and futuristic at the same time.

And so the Tea Rex was born!
Manufactured in18/10 stainless steel and produced in Alessi’s Crusinallo plant in Omegna, Tea Rex is available in three versions, featuring a jade-coloured whistle, a copper whistle and a limitededition whistle in brass. The 30th anniversary pack includes the original bird whistle in the new colour ways and its dragon evolution.

Michael Graves and Alessi began their collaboration at the end of the 1970s when Alberto Alessi commissioned Graves to design of the Tea & Coffee Piazza project. The project sought to explore the world of architecture and its influences on design.

During this collaboration, Graves expressed an interest in working in product design, resulting in the creation of the now legendary 9093 kettle. Over the years Graves became a personal friend and professional mentor to Alberto Alessi who considered him a design maestro incredibly in-tune with the tastes of the average public and with an exceptional ability to design products which unite great design and mass production methods.

The Alessi company was founded in 1921, at Omegna, Italy, where it remains today as an international, family owned and run business. Alessi products sit within three distinct brands: Officina Alessi, Alessi and A di Alessi. Officina Alessi is an exclusive brand, which includes the company’s most refined products, its one off pieces and its limited series. The traditional Alessi trademark continues to include the best of industrial mass production in the household sector, combining production quality and design innovation. A di Alessi offers top quality products to as vast an audience as possible.

Michael Graves

Michael Graves has been at the forefront of architecture and design since he founded his practice in 1964. Since then, the practice has evolved into two firms: Michael Graves & Associates, which provides architecture, interior design and master planning services, and Michael Graves Design Group, which specialises in product design, graphic design and branding. The practice has office in Princeton, New Jersey and New York City. Michael Graves and the firms have received over 200 awards for design excellence, including the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal, the highest award bestowed upon an individual architect, and the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton. A University of Cincinnati and Harvard University graduate, Graves received 13 honorary doctorates and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He also taught Architecture for 39-years at Princeton University.

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