Not content with corralling the talents of leading designers and architects, Alessi is getting a head start with the next generation.
The company has recently begun workshops at two international design schools: Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., and ECAL in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Cranbrook students focused on the American tradition of silver and metalsmithing.
Four of their objects have made their way into the Alessi catalog, including Dear Charlie, a minimalist banana holder designed by John Truex made of chrome-plated Zamak, a zinc, aluminum and copper alloy ($110).
At ECAL, students were charged with developing designs for office work. Five products made the final cut, including Matthieu Girel's Spettro, a cone-shaped tool that magnetically captures paper clips, hiding them from sight ($45). Both products are at Alessi shops and will be available online. Information: (212) 941-7300 or alessi-shop.com.garden
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.