Italian firm Alessi explores Chinese product design

The (Un)Forbidden City is Alessi’s new project curated by Gary Chang that aims at exploring the potential of Chinese product design.

Under the design responsibility of Chang, Alessi has invited seven renowned Chinese architects, who have been asked to tackle an industrial design project and to give their own interpretation of one of Alessi’s most typological archetype: the tray.

The participating architects include: Chang Yung Ho, Liu Jia Kun, Ma Yan Song,Urbanus, Wang Shu,  Zhang Ke and Zhang Lei.

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The results of this was unveiled during Beijing Design Week 2011. The eight projects which include  Chang’s design, was on show in a special exhibition at the Aether Art Space gallery in Sanlitun, with the presence of Alberto Alessi and the authors.

The eight projects will enter production early next year and will be launched within the 2012 Spring Summer collection as part of the Officina Alessi catalogue.

Stainless steel has been used in the projects by Ho, Shu, Ke and Lei. Stainless steel and mahogany have been used for Yansong’s project, aluminium and stainless steel have been used in Jiakun’s design, stainless steel and melamine in Chang’s project, and melamine in the Urbanus project.

“The Gallery space is transformed into a Mahjong Playing Room typical in Hong Kong and some other Chinese cities,” said Chang.

Instead of the usual Mahjong Room, the space included 12 mahjong tables each representing one of the eight designs of the (Un)Forbidden City Project, as well as specific tables for introductions from Alberto Alessi and Chang.

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