You may never have heard of the term Nuvem. It is nor more nor less than a collection of objects formed from aluminum wire, spun and squashed into any number of household items. But that description is far too plain to capture this daring concept.
Years in development, there were the usual artistic struggles, of course. Add to that the difficulty of creating economical objects that were also functional. A daunting task. The results show that they have succeeded marvelously.
Take the humble placemat, for example. It could be used to protect a table from a hot dish. Yet, what will protect the table against the wire mat? To accomplish that, and to make a lovely object at the same time takes real skill. Yet, that is what Alessi achieved.
The Alessi Nuvem Wire Mat (AFC12, made from anodized aluminum) comes in natural color, blue, or gold. Each one exhibits the asymmetry that turns this utilitarian object into a work of thoughtful design. Measuring approximately 43cm x 37 cm (17″ x 14.5″) at the widest points, it is far from a simple rectangle. Yet, this unusual shape still manages to fit perfectly into your decorating scheme as both a wonderful design and a practical tool.
For a more complex object based on the same idea, Alessi reached for the humble Wire Flower Vase (AFC13). The base is 10cm x 10 cm (4″ x 4″) and the vase stands 17 cm (7″) high. Those mundane figures, however, don’t begin to describe the delight this piece of functional sculpture delivers.
With its open-wire frame, the vase isn’t designed to hold water though it can be used as the outer shell of a glass cylinder or rectangle. Still, it works perfectly for artificial flowers, as a container for potpourri, for colored glass balls, or many other decorating ideas. The integration of the abstract design and the functional purpose makes this one of Alessi’s best conceptual realizations.
The company didn’t rest on its laurels. It went still further. It created the Alessi Wired Citrus Basket (AFC11) like no other. Here, the aesthetic and the practical work together in perfect harmony. Mediocre engineering would have resulted in disaster. Artistic sloppiness would have ruined a promising idea. By sheer will the designers achieved a perfect balance.
Available in natural aluminum color, blue, or gold, this fruit basket can be used in a wide variety of color schemes. Placed as the centerpiece of your table, your decorative efforts will pay off handsomely with just a simple touch of Nuvem. Sporting the same organic pattern as the flower vase, it brings both the sense of life and the artifice of design together in perfect harmony.
The unmatched integration of art and function achieved in the Alessi Nuvem line created an object now housed in the MOMA in New York. Make one a part of your collection and you’ll generate the same buzz seen at the placement ceremony.