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Merdolino, Alessi
Stefano Giovannoni

27 February 2014

In the years in which Stefano Giovannoni brought to Alessi (which up until that time had specialized in the working of metals) the colorful and dynamic world of plastics, a wave of innovation led the company to broaden its attention from the kitchen to the bathroom. As a logical consequence, all kinds of bathroom accessories were open to a reinterpretation of their design. All of them, bar none, even the ones that had attracted the least interest or were not considered worthy of a design project, such as the “toilet brush.” Thus this object became the linchpin of the more wide-ranging project Family Follows Fiction which, paraphrasing the well-known functionalist creed, placed the accent on new forms of livability in the home, starting from the bathroom, the location par excellence of privacy and “laying bare.” The allusion to a playful and infantile world reflects the ambition to investigate the relations between adults and children in the context of the family, as well as the role of archetypes in personal psychoanalysis. And so the stylized green shoot of the Merdolino became, in 1993, the agenda of a new aesthetic and a different way of surrounding ourselves with objects that are more bystanders than servants: not bad for a toilet brush!

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Photo: Emanuela Carelli.

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Photo: Emanuela Carelli.

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Photo: Emanuela Carelli.

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Photo: Emanuela Carelli.

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Photo: Emanuela Carelli.

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Photo: Emanuela Carelli.

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi

Merdolino di Stefano Giovannoni per Alessi


Domitilla Dardi

Torn between the history of art and the history of architecture, she came across design at the end of the last century and has not let go of it since. She loves to deal with everything that entails the use of ingredients, their choice, mixing and transformation: from writing to cooking, from knitting to design, from perfumes to colors. She is curator for design at the MAXXI and professor of the History of Design at the IED.


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