Alessi launches a new moka designed by David Chipperfield at MUDEC. This will entail a bright yellow and cyan pop-inspired bar, the MOKERIA, where moka coffee, usually confined to the domestic sphere, can be consumed in an intriguing collective rite. And a film – guaranteed to be fantastic – with an installation by Virgilio Villoresi, conceived by Federico Pepe of Le Dictateur: a dreamlike journey through an expanse of dancing sunflowers, from which the moka rises like an abstract dawn. As always, Virgilio Villoresi cites the language and techniques of the magical pre-cinema world by using a zoetrope, an optical device inspired by children’s games from the Victorian era , which mechanically produces moving images using optical illusions.
There are at least two important things to take note of here: the first is Chipperfield’s return to MUDEC, which he designed and later rejected due to the poor quality of its construction, provoking something of a scandal at the opening (which we are very grateful for as one of the rare ripples to appear in the otherwise placid world of cultural journalism where every event is reported as a perfect success). The second key aspect is that strong>launching a new moka nowadays is a huge cultural and political challenge in an age where the absurd capsule trend has overtaken globally despite producing a cold cup of fake coffee that is full of harmful substances and, above all, highly polluting (the billions of capsules, mostly non-recyclable, polluting the environment have led to bans from cities such as Hamburg and caused one of the inventors to publicly regret their invention).
It is also a cultural challenge to that unbearable American “coffee culture”, which uses tedious theories about precise temperatures, settling and supposed ideal consumption times to impose a dull hipster trend in Italy and discredit quick-drinking Italian consumers. And who better to throw down the gauntlet than Alessi? As Chiara Alessi explains in her book The Coffee Makers of my Great-grandparents (Utet 2018), her father is a descendent of Alfonso Bialetti, inventor of the first moka in 1933, while one of the most iconic objects in the company’s history is the unforgettable 9090 espresso maker by Richard Sapper, which received the Compasso d’Oro in 1979.
MOKERIA | Mudec Bistrot: Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri 7.30–19.30; Thurs, Sat, & Sun 7.30–22.30.
Zoetrope | Cortile Mudec: Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri 9.30–19.30; Thurs, Sat, & Sun 9.30–22.30
Written by Lucia Tozzi