Kitchen Design Academy-News Gazette # 92




Why learn?

What can Lifelong Learning Offer You?

‘We are in a new age – the age of information and global competition…We have no choice but to prepare for this new age in which the key to success will be the continuous education and development of the human mind and imagination.’ The Learning Age.

In the 21st Century, the new disadvantaged will be those who do not have the capacity to learn. They will sink, unable to change and adapt as they are flooded with ever more information and change. But learning is about more than just getting by in a changing world. Our ability to learn is what makes us human: we are born curious and our ability to continue learning is what defines us – as individuals, as communities and as societies. Learning can bring you, your family, your organisation and your community any number of benefits.
Just some of them include:

  • personal growth and expanded horizons
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Thibault Desombre

Thibault Desombre-France

Thibault Desombre trained initially as a cabinet-maker before becoming a member of the Compagnons du Tour de France. He then embarked on a career as a designer, enrolling in ENSAD (the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) in Paris. After graduating, he created his first pieces at the P. Parent agency in 1983 where he designed the Diazo chair. In 1986 he joined Grange. There he designed the Shaker’s collection which was awarded the grand prize at the Salon du Meuble.

Producers such as Ligne Roset and Cinna were his next port of call. He worked on table accessory projects designing Bora carafes and Shama cutlery for Ligne Roset and also lighting, with the Mama lamp for Ligne Roset and Eole for Cinna.  His work for brands such as Pleyel (pianos) and Laguiole reflected his eclectic edge. His designs were a great success and he has won many prizes (Via label, Etoile du Design, Excellence Award from Marie-Claire Maison…).

Thibault Desombre’s experience with the Compagnons du Tour de France accentuated and focused his vision of design. Today, he expresses his mastery of all things beautiful through a conciliation of utility and poetry. He imagines and creates objects and furniture with uncluttered lines, full of warmth and narrative.

A few awards:

1998: Club Press Moving Award

1990: For the Zina Collection (Socaline): Design Award from Ville de Paris and Critic’s Award for Contemporary Furniture

1994: Nombre d’Or Award for Contemporary Furniture

1994: VIA Carte Blanche award (Tara collection)

1995: Excellence Award from Marie-Claire Maison

2002: For Mama lighting (Ligne Roset): Via label

2003: For the Alto Seat (Aldform): Award and Label from Observeur du Design

2004: For Spoon urban lighting (Technilum): Award from Observeur du Design

2006: For the Fidelio piano (Pleyel): Via Label and Award from Observeur du Design

2008: Thibaut Desombre began his collaboration with Arthur Bonnet with the “Rendez-vous” kitchen. That same year it won the Observeur du Design award from the Association for the Promotion of Industrial Design(Association pour la Promotion de la Création Industrielle – APCI)

His designs for Arthur Bonnet

Cuisine Metisse

I wanted to create a hybrid space combining the pleasure of a working space, where things are close to hand, with a convivial and very pleasant living area. This hybridisation is also reflected in the materials incorporated in this lifestyle mix.











Founded in 1954 by Nico Moretto, who has headed the company ever since and designed all its products, Alpes Inox began its operation with the manufacture of metal cabinets for the kitchen. In 1964 it started producing built-in kitchen appliances made of stainless steel: sinks, hobs, ovens and exhaust hoods. The company soon gained a distinguished reputation for the high technical and quality standards of its products, their sophisticated design and the accurate machining of steel, a high quality material characterized by its stainless, hygienic and resistant properties, whose 19/10 chrome-nickel alloy and special finish determine its exclusive “silver” colouring. The basic qualities that characterize the Alpes products are quality, functionality, safety.



Nico Moretto - Alpes Inox FounderThe words of Nico Moretto, the founder of Alpes Inox, lead us through the history of the company and of Italian industrial design in general. A design process that has won many important awards but above all tells the story of a man, his life and his passion for one material: steel.

Why did you decide to focus exclusively on steel?

When as a young man I went to work as an assistant-draughtsman in the technical division of Smalterie Metallurgiche Venete, I saw stainless steel for the first time in my life. It came from Sweden, packaged like a precious metal, and there it was pressed, shaped, welded, polished and given a surface finish.
It was a magnificent material: complete, clean, essential. Years later, as soon as I could, I began to work with it too.
I remember that at the beginning I pressed it in an old hydraulic press with the moulds that I used for the porcelain sinks: the bowls kept breaking, and I kept trying over and over. Finally, using soap shavings that I ground very fine with a bar-quality coffee grinder, I achieved my first unbroken bowl. It was like being on cloud nine. This was the beginning of a long friendship, and I believe I can say that I have made my own contribution to steel, when I invented the “silver satin finish”: perhaps it is not a coincidence that my stainless-steel products do well in Sweden too.

Nico Moretto, a life dedicated to design… 

I began work early, in June 1940, as an apprentice in a garage. After a few months, I began to study technical drawing at the “Scuola d’Arti e Mestieri” in Bassano del Grappa. Then I found work as a messenger and assistant-draughtsman in the technical department, as I said earlier, at Smalterie Metallurgiche Venete. So I went from starter motors, dynamos and batteries to parallel rules, tracing paper, and Indian ink. Ten years in that factory-school and then (still as a draughtsman or technical director), I spent several years in other medium-sized companies in the area. But I needed to hone my skills, so I went to night school. I enjoyed building models of sailing boats that I launched on Sundays, and drawing gliders that flew silently over the fields around Vicenza and Asiago. In 1954, I decided to set up Alpes. I began working in a shack in the suburbs, making metal sink-units: the units were stove-enamelled, and the sinks were porcelain-coated. These products were quite successful, and that’s when I felt I could go ahead. So I went on to make modular furniture for the kitchen, water heaters, clothes dryers, etc. In the early sixties, I made my definitive choice: I would work with nothing but stainless steel, to produce sinks, hobs, ovens, cookers, barbecues, grills, deep fryers, kitchen hoods, and in the end I came to produce today’s system of free-standing kitchen units.

Do you feel more like an entrepreneur or a designer?

I am an entrepreneur and manufacturer who designs his own products. This is normal for me: I spent my life studying, drawing and designing. And I dedicate at least half my time to supervising the entire process in the company, from the concept to testing the finished product. But I must admit that down our way there’s lots of people who feel the same way about being an entrepreneur.

What type of designer do you feel most akin to?

To the ones who worry about everything, from feasibility to safety, from function to form: the ones who want to go one step further, who want to see everything, to understand what people might need, who want to feel useful to people.

Are you thinking of expanding your company?

The current size feels right to me. Rather than a change of scale, I am thinking of improvements.
Nevertheless, it is no coincidence that very few companies of our size produce and market complete product ranges. When it comes to technology, you can’t really say that “small is beautiful”: smaller companies can’t afford to make certain investments in advanced technology, but woe betide them if they don’t.
In any case, I am lucky I can share these problems with my sons, Aldo and Bruno, who work in the company and are a great credit to the business.






Wishful thinking for a home like the Disney Innovention is futile coz Neverland brought Michael only grief! It’s safer to sit on the fence and review similar concepts while hoping technology will sustain the efforts one day. For example, this N1 Robot Table 2012 (farfetched?) can give the kitchen table found in the Innoventions home a run for its money. It’s got stuff like touchscreen, built-in camera, internet connectivity, speed dial, music, recipes, screens, energy consumption meter, etc. The question is how many of us would want to just admire such concepts and how many would actually go out and buy something like this?

It’s got the promise of being The Central Hub of your home, but tell me, do you want multiple gadgets at home or would something all-in-one suffice for you?

I would love something all-in-one but I’d be weary of it all conking-off together! Imagine, phone, computer, net, TV all out-of-order at one go!

Designer: Doyeop Kim

N1 Robot Table For The Future by Doyeop Kim











things we like

miguel chevalier projects immersive images on to king’s college chapel in cambridge
all images courtesy of miguel chevalier


at the occasion of a fundraising campaign organized by the university of cambridge in king’s college chapel, the artist miguel chevalier was invited to create a series of immersive projections to accompany the speeches of renowned professors and alumni. for the event, the artist imagines a number of different graphic universes, which are generated in real time and use their own digital language to illustrate and interpret a wide variety of subjects including academic excellence, health, africa, biology, neurosciences, physics, biotechnologies, etc.

miguel chevalier
this is the first time that the university of cambridge has invited an artist to make a work of art in the chapel

to illustrate stephen hawking’s research about black holes, miguel chevalier imagines an immersive environment made up of thousands of constellations that plunge the guests into the mystery of the universe. in the same spirit, each of the projections entices the audience into a remarkable and imaginative atmosphere where science meets spirituality.

the site-specific installation highlights the architecture of the 16th-century chapel through lighting the high technicality of the cathedral’s fan vaults, one of the finest examples of late perpendicular gothic english architecture.the projections and the richness of colors from the digital installations create a resonant relationship with the illuminated stained glass windows. the installation gives the building life, generating an unprecedented visual experience. this is the first time that the university of cambridge has invited an artist to make a work of art in the chapel.

miguel chevalier
miguel chevalier was invited to create a series of immersive projections on the king’s college chapel in cambridge

miguel chevalier
the artist imagines a number of different graphic universes, which are generated in real time

miguel chevalier
this digital language illustrates and interprets a wide variety of academic subjects

miguel chevalier
the work shows a colorful living universe that is constantly renewed

miguel chevalier
everything floats, branches out, appears and disappears, always turning into something else

miguel chevalier
traditional imagery related to the university and colleges of cambridge were also projected

miguel chevalier
colored lines of light sketch out mental landscapes

miguel chevalier
a wide variety of academic subjects were interpreted in the projections

miguel chevalier
each of the projections entices the audience into a magical and poetic atmosphere


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