‘Chimu’ bowl by Joanna Lyle for Alessi

Made by Alessi in Italy, Europe, 1995-1999.

This bowl is an example of Alessi’s most interesting products of the 1990s. Being designed by a young English (?) designer, it also illustrates a significant change in approach to ‘guest’ designers at the firm at the time. During the last decade of the 20th century, Alessi decided to target young international designers, as opposed to those well-known or famous. Joanna Lyle was one of 200 young (under 30 years old) women who were commissioned to provide designs for the firm (for further informat...


Object No.


Physical Description

Bowl, 'Chimu', stainless steel/ wood, designed by Joanna Lyle, made by Alessi, England/ Italy, 1992-1994. A hemispherical bowl made from polished stainless steel, supported on three small conical feet with wooden band inserts, and cut at the top to form a rim of a continuous, regular waving pattern just above a frieze of small globular protrusions, each ascending curve of the wave arching over one such 'dot'.



136 mm



Designed by Joanna Lyle for Alessi, 1992-4. Part of the 1991-1994 Centro de Studi Alessi project (Alessi Research project) that focussed on cooperation with young (under 30 years old) women designers. The Chimu bowl was one of the first objects to be made as part of the project. The series was named by Alessi as 'Memory containers' in reference to the brief sent to selected international designers which asked them to explore "the archetypes of presentation and 'offering' of food and its rituals. Designers could draw on their own cultural heritage and personal experiences and were asked 'to abandon, as far as possible, the existing stylistic languages..."(A.Alessi. The Design factory, 1998, p.125). Alessi's objective was 'the realisation of a 'Creole project', a test-tube cloning of that which, given its natural span, happens much more slowly when different cultures come together"( A.Alessi, 'The Dream Factory, Alessi since 1921', 1998, p.98).

Made by Alessi in Crusinallo, 1995-1999.


Alessi 1995-1999


Lyle, Joanna null


Credit Line

Purchased 2000

Acquisition Date

8 June, 2000

Cite this Object


'Chimu' bowl by Joanna Lyle for Alessi 2016, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 22 January 2018, <https://ma.as/9357>


{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/9357 |title='Chimu' bowl by Joanna Lyle for Alessi |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=22 January 2018 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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