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Alessi Ossidiana Stovetop Espresso Maker - origin story

Alessi Ossidiana Stovetop Espresso Maker sitting on a table with blurry lights in the background

Of all the beautiful Alessi stovetop espresso makers that you can find at Coffee in Italia (Ossidiana, Pulcina, La Cupola, Moka), I think my favorite is the Ossidiana.  There is something about the look of it that appeals to me, so I went to do some research for an Instagram post about it and its Sicilian designer, Mario Trimarchi.  

Portrait of Sicilian designer Mario Trimarchi
Mario Trimarchi -
read his profile here
I found a video of il Sig. Trimarchi describing the design process.  My favorite quote was "If you design something you can describe by phone, this is not interesting at all."

He likes the intersection of sculpture, architecture and design and said his initial ideas for this coffee maker were how light and shadows played off the surfaces and angles (geometry alert: he even mentions Euclid in the video.).  And much like the famous quote attributed to Michelangelo (but that Google tells me is not true), he wants to get rid of everything that's not the truth.

As he thought about why the world would need yet another espresso maker, he came to focus on the asymmetry in our hands and ended up designing the most efficient, ergonomic coffeemaker for opening and closing.  He talked about the most curious phase of design being creating something completely different than what you'd first envisioned.  But really, isn't this just how life is?

As I watched the video over and over, trying to get a handle on what he was saying, I decided he was like a kindly professor, lecturing while he sat there sketching.  And it made me appreciate all the thought that went into designing a coffee maker and how that's something I like about the Italian culture...there's art and beauty in everything, even in making a cup of coffee.


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