Bialetti, A catalogue
published by Spector Books, autumn 2023
design: Lyosha Kritsouk, photography: Patrick Pollmeier
with the support of The Museum of Anthropocene Technology (MAT), Platform 0090, Design Museum Gent, Vlaamse Overheid, PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPANDED PUBLISHING ATHENS
16 x 23 cm, 80 pages, in English, with 72 color images and drawings, hardcover
In the 1920s, in northern Italy, the brothers Camillo, Cezaro, and Alfonso Bialetti produced in their workshops aluminium household equipment. Renato Bialetti, son of Alfonso, appropriated the family brand, industrialized the production of stove-top coffee makers in the early 1950s, and sold roughly 300 million pots worldwide. Producing clones of his product to beat competitors, controversial entrepreneur Renato Bialetti did not deem keeping records, prototypes, or archives necessary.
In this void, artist David Bergé started gathering Bialetti’s near the factory in ruins, on second-hand markets, and in flagship stores. This book is Bergé's proposal of what could be a Bialetti catalogue. It provides insights into the production process of a piece of precision engineering, nourished by the voices of members of the industrialists’ family, as well as former factory workers, secretaries, and union representatives: Bialetti, a 20th-century icon, no longer part of every kitchen today.