‘Alessi in Love’, a participatory design contest organised by popular Italian design brand Alessi, has come to a close with the selection of eight participants for the three-day workshop. The meta-project is aimed at finding innovative ways of considering love gifts as an expression of a person’s feelings, as opposed to a mass-produced line of anonymous products that have little emotional validity.
The project was the brainchild of Laura Polinoro, founder of the LPWK Design Studio in Bergamo, Italy, and organised by Alessi in collaboration with Desall.com, a crowdsourcing web-based platform connecting companies with creative talents from across the globe.
The contest was a great success at an international level with participation from 778 creative thinkers and designers from over 130 countries and the submission of 1184 design proposals. The eight successful participants – Aki Motoyama (Japan), Amen Studio (Italy), Andrés Lhima (Mexico), David Santacruz (Colombia), Lucia Barna (Italy), Mauricio Aragon (Colombia), Mean Design Studio (US) and Raquel Pedrali (Italy) – developed their proposed designs during the workshop, which took place between 25 and 27 January 2014.
Polinoro, who is an Alessi consultant responsible for the development of new collections, guided the participants to enhance their individual projects. A panel of experts including Alberto Alessi is judging the winner on the basis of originality, feasibility and consistency to the brief. The winning project will be developed and marketed by the Alessi team as part of the Alessi collection, with the designer receiving a royalty contract as part of the deal.
The workshop, which was split in two phases, was held in two different locations: Phase I was hosted by H-Farm, a venture incubator located near Venice that has been helping innovative startups focused on web services and new media for years, and saw the designers refine their proposed projects; Phase II continued at the company venue in Crusinallo, where the participants came in contact with the production and technical assets of the company.