Alberto Alessi to Receive Collab 2010 Design Excellence Award at Philadelphia Museum of Art

Regardless of where you stand on the Juicy Salif citrus squeezer (allegedly inspired by the squid ink pasta Philippe Starck was enjoying—in Italy, of course—before pausing to sketch the product on a napkin), you’ve got to hand it to Alberto Alessi (at right, in a cheeky photo by Guido Harari). Passionate about design, he pioneered the policy of tapping external designers as a differentiator for the family-owned company that today brings in an esimated $100 million in annual revenues. Next Saturday, the Alessi president and director of marketing strategies and design management will be in Philadelphia to collect his Collab Design Excellence Award, bestowed annually by a collaboration of design professionals supporting the modern and contemporary design collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Past winners of the award include a bunch of Alessi collaborators, including Starck, Marcel Wanders, Frank Gehry, and Karim Rashid. After picking up his snazzy statue, Alessi will give an illustrated lecture about his company and inaugurate the museum’s exhibition, “Alessi: Ethical and Radical.” Opening to the public on November 21, the show was developed based on a plan by Alessandro Mendini and highlights Alessi’s role in shaping the company into a unique research center and design collaborative. Meanwhile, those in New York can catch Alessi as he continues his East Coast tour at the Cooper-Hewitt, where on Monday, November 22, he’ll chat with another freshly lauded design luminary, director Bill Moggridge.