Bowl, 'Chimu', stainless steel/ wood, designed by Joanna Lyle, made by Alessi, England/ Italy, 1992-1994
This bowl is an example of Alessi's most interesting products of the 1990s. Being designed by a young English (?) designer, it also illustrates a significant change in approach to 'guest' designers at the firm at the time. During the last decade of the 20th century, Alessi decided to target young international designers, as opposed to those well-known or famous. Joanna Lyle was one of 200 young (under 30 years old) women who were commissioned to provide designs for the firm (for further information about the project refer to the 'designed' section). Lyle's 'Chimu' bowl is an excellent example of objects produced as part of the project. Its simple yet striking form well complements Susan Cohn's bowl also commissioned by Alessi at the time and also in this museum's collection.
Designed by Joanna Lyle for Alessi, 1992-4. Part of the 1991-1994 Centro de Studi Alessi project (Alessi Research project) that focussed on cooperation with young (under 30 years old) women designers. The Chimu bowl was one of the first objects to be made as part of the project. The series was named by Alessi as 'Memory containers' in reference to the brief sent to selected international designers which asked them to explore "the archetypes of presentation and 'offering' of food and its rituals. Designers could draw on their own cultural heritage and personal experiences and were asked 'to abandon, as far as possible, the existing stylistic languages..."(A.Alessi. The Design factory, 1998, p.125). Alessi's objective was 'the realisation of a 'Creole project', a test-tube cloning of that which, given its natural span, happens much more slowly when different cultures come together"( A.Alessi, 'The Dream Factory, Alessi since 1921', 1998, p.98).
Made by Alessi in Crusinallo, 1995-1999.