Alessio Gianotti: from Sottsass to Kossi Aguessy, interview with the designer of Ivrea


The professional path of each designer comes from a series of circumstances and occasionally it is inevitably linked to their personal history. Alessio Gianotti is a young designer from Ivrea, the city where red bricks are made by Olivetti, the company that has made history in innovation and Italian design.
We already know Alessio for his intriguing modular vase designed with exotic inspiration, the Anaconda. Today, in addition to planning and design issues, we will discover how the designer interprets his approach to creativity.


How was your passion for design born, Alessio? What is your story as a designer?

Coming from Ivrea, a city full of information technology and companies like Olivetti, I feel I have already grown up in an environment that I would call fertile for creativity. But the real love at first sight with design was in the summer of my last year of high school, when we were renovating our house, I found myself surrounded by magazines related to interior design and product design. I became fascinated by that world and so I decided to study at the Polytechnic of Turin, where I eventually graduated in Industrial Design and then in Ecodesign. This is how my adventure started.

Ivrea must surely have been a source of inspiration and a strong creative stimulus, but what do you really love about the design world?  

I am fascinated by all aspects related to creativity and design: painting, music, cinema, architecture, graphics and so on. They are all separate aspects but linked by the same passion for creation and by the same desire to translate emotions into objects. I like to turn an idea into something that can improve everyday life.

Apart from the creative roots that inspired your dedication to creativity, can you give me some examples of people from whom you have taken inspiration or which you particularly admire?

If I had to name one, it would be Kossi Aguessy, a designer that I was lucky enough to know, who has always fascinated me for the simplicity and elegance that he combines within his creations.


Kossi Aguessy designer

I also cannot fail to mention Mies van der Rohe for his disruptive minimalism in both industrial and architectural design. 

Mies van der Rohe with his Barcelona armchair

Finally, a contemporary name, the Nendo design studio, I really appreciate the work they do.

Nendo studio chair

Which historical design icon are you particularly attached to?

I think I’m biased in this case. Coming from Ivrea, it could only be a product from Olivetti, which I am most fond of. I’m referring to Ettore Sottsass’s  ‘Valentine’, a typewriter which I consider wonderful for several reasons: from the portability of the entire body of the machine inserted in its red case, to the transgression of the features compared to those of the past (remember that it came out on the market at end of the 60s), right up to the general innovation that this product has given to the world of typewriters.

"Valentine" by Ettore Sottsass

Do you have a particular desire related to your profession?

The greatest desire is definitely to continue doing what I love and see my ideas realized in a concrete way, in the form of products and environments. It is priceless to know that something you have created can please someone so much, to the point of seeing it become an integral part of their daily life.

Alessio Gianotti with his Anaconda vase
Detail of Anaconda vase

What do you think of this young and talented designer? Are you also tied to a particular historical icon of design? Which one? I am curious, as always: let me know in the comments, or write me at  [email protected]!


Alessio Gianotti

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