Designed By Natures The Bark centrepiece was designed by Michel Boucquillon and Donia Maaoui. Both of Belgian origin, the designers have been inspired by the place where they live: Casa Boucquillon in Tuscany, a place of experimentation, meditation and work where they live at one with nature. As suggested by its name, the item brings to mind tree bark. The fretwork recalls knots in wood, the concave and elongated shape is reminiscent of the structure of a trunk. The result is a highly poetic yet functional object: the perforated part makes it suitable to keep fruit fresh, as if the fruit was in the baskets made of woven branches or bark, used in the country for the harvest. Its modelled design and large dimensions make it suitable for use as both a container and a centrepiece.About Alessi “A true design work must move people, convey emotions, bring back memories, surprise, and go against common thinking.” – Alberto Alessi Founded in 1921 as a “Workshop for the processing of brass and nickel silver sheet metal, with foundry”, Alessi has always stood out for the high quality of its products. In almost a century of history, the company has gradually evolved to become one of the leading “Factories of Italian design”, capable of applying its expertise and excellence in design management to many different product types. Open to change and international development, Alessi at the same time has a strong bond with the traditions and cultural background of its area and continues to be synonymous with handcrafted objects produced with the help of machines. Alessi’s mission is now one of translating its quest for the most advanced cultural, aesthetic, design and functional quality into mass production. Designer products are the result of the constant reconciliation of art and industry, of the “Immensity of Creative Potential” and the needs of the market. The company is committed to a design approach in which the most advanced expression of international creativity is always balanced against the desires of the general public. Alessi has been described as a “Dream Factory”, which uses its products to make people’s dreams come true, providing them with the Art and Poetry that they seek. Alessi: The Design Factory A journey inside and outside Alessi, to discover a Factory of Italian Design Alessigraphy: the geography of Alessi production SINCE THE COMPANY’S foundation in 1921 the majority of Alessi products have been manufactured through the cold working of metals, a tradition that is kept alive today by the skilled workers at the Crusinallo plant in Omegna. Over time, Alessi also began to work with many other materials, such as porcelain, glass, wood, and plastic… A specific production method was developed for each one. Even when production takes place outside the Crusinallo plant, Alessi’s guidelines guarantee the company’s original production quality standards, continuing to reconcile industrial technological complexity with an artisanal eye for detail. The objects produced from the different materials are manufactured in various production plants across the world. They remain original Alessi objects in that they are conceived with the same design excellence and produced with the same attention to quality that sets the company’s products apart. The Designer: Boucquillon & Maaoui Born in Belgium in 1962. In 1988 he won the competition of the CHAMBER OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT in Brussels which signed the beginning of his Architectural and Design career. In ‘2000, he opened a new workshop dedicated to Industrial Design and experimental Architecture in Lucca – Tuscany in his CASA BOUCQUILLON , extremely experimental place of exploration, meditation, live and work. Michel actually works for the world most famous International Design companies: Alessi, Artemide, Antoniolupi, Serralunga, Martinelliluce. His work is present in several Museums and got many of the main international Awards, recently: Menzione d’Onore Compasso d’Oro 2011, Good Design Award 2008, Design Plus 2006. Donia Maaoui, Michel’s wife and an architect herself, works alongside her husband on some of the Alessi and Martinelliluce projects, although her principal occupation is cast bronze sculpture and painting.