The head of a large and successful family of objects designed by Michael Graves starting from the '80s, the kettle with bird shaped whistle was the first product by an American designer to be included in the Alessi catalogue. It opened the way for the playful design style that subsequently characterised the '90s and thanks to an inspired mix of post-modern and pop idioms it has become one of the internationally recognised icons of the '80s.
The "9093" kettle came out of an earlier collaboration with Graves, who was invited, along with ten other architects, to design a limited-edition silver tea and coffee set for Alessi.
"In Italian tradition, design is a son of architecture," Alessi says. "All good designers, almost without exception, are first architects in Italy. We invited these 11 architects, then selected Aldo Rossi and Michael Graves, understanding that they were extremely interested in trying real industrial design, meaning products made for the masses." Alberto Alessi
"We create object that are accessible and intuitive as well as beautiful" Michael Graves
The result was this celebrated kettle with the bird that sings when the water has boiled and was a great success when it was introduced on the market in 1985. Still today it is one of the best selling products within the Alessi catalogue and proudly Made in Italy by hand.
Inside the Alessi Factory...
The kettle is made at Alessi's factory in Crusinallo, Italy, and around 50 different production phases are neccesary to complete one.
Take a look inside our factory and experience the making off our icon. Using a Chrome browser; tap and drag to look around inside the factory. Using the Youtube app on your phone; simply move your phone around.
Experience as if you are there...
“I’m always very grumpy when I get up in the morning. But when I get up now, I put the teakettle on, and when it starts to sing it makes me smile – damn you!” French Poet
2015 is a special year in which we mark the 30th anniversary of this famous kettle
"Tea Rex" 9093 30th anniversary
OK, this is how the story of this new kettle by Michael Graves began... out of all the objects we produce, the bird-shaped whistle on his classic kettle 9093 turns out to be the object that gets shoplifted the most worldwide. So one day, Silvano, our manager for marketing and communication, said, “Why don’t we ask him to design a new one, for the thirtieth anniversary of the 9093?”
No sooner said than done. It’s the last project by one of our design heroes
"In bird years, thirty is equivalent to Methuselah's life span! So When Alberto Alessi asked me to design a new whistle to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of our teakettle, I imagined a new evolution in the history of our kettle. One where our little bird might transform into a super-hero: a reptilian creature that is at once prehistoric, mythological, and futuristic. "
"I chose the dragon imagery and its jade green color because of the rich cultural heritage found in Chinese folklore that uses the dragon to symbolize power and good luck."
"Our Dragon is friendly and he decidedly does not breathe fire, but perhaps lets off a little steam! He has a smile on his face, an easy-to-hear whistle and a wing span that makes it easy to remove him from our teakettle when the water boils. We hope our dragon will proudly protect our kettle and your kitchen for years to come." Michael Graves