Alessi 9093 Teakettle

What is it about this kettle and the little bird that sits atop it that has made it so popular for over 30 years?

Product Name
9093 Kettle
Michael Graves
Year Made
-Mirror polished stainless steel
-Plastic handle cover
-Magnetic steel bottom

In 1985, Italian company Alessi employed an American designer for the first time. Clearly it paid off because the resulting product was one of their best selling products for 30 years! The Alessi 9093 kettle, which was designed by architect and designer Michael Graves, has sold over 1.5 million units since its first release.

Michael Graves uses pastel colours in a design that looks like a piece of classic Americana. Graves' architecture has seen him design resorts for Disney. Maybe it's his sense of fun and his playful style that attracted Alessi to him.

What do you see?
What is it made of?
How is it made?
What is its impact?
What is its design value?

Cone shape

The cone shape of the body of the kettle is sleek, yet warm and friendly. This shape also enables the water inside it to boil more quickly.

Bird whistle

The bird whistle has become iconic and is arguably what makes the kettle so popular! The bird whistles when the water is boiled, and the red colour of it signifies heat, as it can get very hot when there is plumes of steam coming out of it!

Flowing handle

The lovely wavy shape of the handle is inviting, as if showing you how to hold it. Its blue colour shows you that it isn't hot, and is safe to handle.


Heat conducting stainless steel

!! Image from Graves' website needs to be changed !! The body of the kettle is made from a polished stainless steel. It is a traditional material for a kettle which looks classic and lasts well.

Playful plastic

The handle and the whistle of the kettle are made from polyamide, which is a type of plastic. The plastic stays much cooler than the steel, and it can also be made in different colours and moulded into different shapes.

Made in Italy

Although many kettles are made in China these days, the Alessi 9093 kettle is still made in Omegna in Italy, which is where Alessi is based.

A change in career

Michael Graves was originally an architect, not a designer. But in the late 70s, Alessi invited Graves and 11 other architects who had never designed any home products before to design a tea and coffee set. Graves' design was the most popular, and he became inspired to design the 9093 kettle, along with a range of other kitchen appliances.

A long lasting relationship

This project not only resulted in a popular piece of design, but a long lasting personal and professional relationship as well. The head of Alessi, Alberto Alessi, and Michael Graves went on to become close friends, and Graves went on to create a further 150 products for the company!

Joy in the every day

Alessi are well known for their joyful home furnishings. They aim to bring pleasure and charm to the every day, which is easily seen in the 9093 kettle.

30th Anniversary Celebrations

To celebrate 30 years of the 9093 kettle in 2015, Alessi commissioned Graves to design a commemorative kettle.

This special edition kettle is almost identical to the original, but has had a couple of changes made! A jade coloured dragon sits on the spout of the kettle instead of the red bird and "Tea Rex 9093 30th anniversary" is stamped onto the kettle lid. This special edition kettle was named "Tea Rex", and Graves said that he chose the dragon due to its links with strength and good fortune in Chinese culture. He also noted that it was as if the bird on the original kettle had simply evolved!

A blend of styles

The Alessi kettle mixes the bright colours and cartoonish shapes of pop art with the minimalism and sleekness of modern design! Although you might expect these two styles to clash, they actually compliment each other well and mean that the kettle looks great is lots of different kitchen settings.

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