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Alessi Looks East

Due to launch in Spring – the results of the “(Un) Forbidden City” project by Alessi involving leading architects from China and a tray.

Alessi Looks East


January 31st, 2012

Back in early 2000, Alessi sent out an invitation to a list of renowned new generation architects around the world to create their vision of a tea and/or coffee service in a meta-project titled “The Tea & Coffee Towers”.

Initiated by Alberto Alessi himself, the objective was to explore new ways to combine aspects of architecture with industrial design. No limitations were placed on materials or methods. Alessi was expecting – and received – results that were cutting edge.


A Lotus Leaf by Chang Yung Ho

Fast-forward to the present day and we see the fruits of the company’s latest project with China’s foremost architects, namely Chang Yung Ho, Liu Jia Kun, Ma Yan Song, Urbanus, Wang Shu, Zhang Ke and Zhang Lei.


Clouds Roots by Wang Shu

First previewed at Beijing Design Week late last year, and most recently at Maison & Objet 2012, “(Un) Forbidden City” shows each architect’s interpretation of one of Alessi’s most typological archetype: the tray.


Floating Earth by Ma Yan Song


Ma Yan Song

Curated by Hong Kong architect and designer Gary Chang (who also submitted a design), the project is an attempt by Alessi to explore of the potential and talent of Chinese product design and encourage an East-West exchange of architectural and design viewpoints – with focus on the changing domestic landscape in each.


Opposition by Zhang Lei

This is the first industrial design project for all 8 architects, and we’ll be seeing the final results in Spring!


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