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Kids Do It Better: Alessi Taps Student Talent, With Stunning Results [Slideshow]

ECAL/ University of Art and Design Lausanne partners with Italian design giant Alessi to develop desktop wares that show that Switzerland can still grind out some of the best design students around.

  • <p>Marie Schenker’s tape dispenser is a minimalist’s fantasy. A simple steel contraption fits into the tape roll and angles slightly so that the tape doesn’t stick to every last mote of dust on your desk.</p>
  • <p>Sleek covers slide over these desktop containers, hiding your assorted pencils and paperclips behind what could easily pass for minimal sculpture. By Christophe Guberan</p>
  • <p>Wall hooks that double as paperclips by Marie-Anne Le Corre</p>
  • <p>Forget writing messages in lipstick on the mirror! Scrub-brush bristles set into this clever little looking glass, by Blandine Gay, hold notes firmly in place.</p>
  • <p>If Alexander Calder had gotten into the time-piece business, he would’ve made something like what you see here. The clock, by Isaure Bouyssonie, literally suspends time.</p>
  • <p>Another clock, this one by Laure Gremion, has sixty vents -- one for each second -- that form a grille over the minute and hour hand, in effect, portraying time through the filter of the second hand.</p>
  • <p>A powerful magnet captures paperclips under the hood of this "flying saucer." By Matthieu Girel</p>
  • <p>Marie Douel’s A4 concept lets you build your own waste paper basket out of the waste paper itself, with just a curl of wood to get you started.</p>
  • <p>Inspired by cake molds, Ciambella, by Carlo Clopath, is a pencil holder whose built-in "cake pan" can store paperclips, erasers, and other small accessories.</p>
  • <p>Manon Briod’s clock reveals a new pattern every second owing to the intricate optics of the face.</p>
  • <p>A lovely, minimal message board with a pencil holder for support, by Julie Richoz</p>
  • <p>Here, Raphaël Nessim designed a versatile storage container by mimicking the tiers of a stadium.</p>
  • 01 /12 | Filo

    Marie Schenker’s tape dispenser is a minimalist’s fantasy. A simple steel contraption fits into the tape roll and angles slightly so that the tape doesn’t stick to every last mote of dust on your desk.

  • 02 /12 | Frana

    Sleek covers slide over these desktop containers, hiding your assorted pencils and paperclips behind what could easily pass for minimal sculpture. By Christophe Guberan

  • 03 /12 | Graffetta

    Wall hooks that double as paperclips by Marie-Anne Le Corre

  • 04 /12 | Pennello

    Forget writing messages in lipstick on the mirror! Scrub-brush bristles set into this clever little looking glass, by Blandine Gay, hold notes firmly in place.

  • 05 /12 | Ora

    If Alexander Calder had gotten into the time-piece business, he would’ve made something like what you see here. The clock, by Isaure Bouyssonie, literally suspends time.

  • 06 /12 | Volta

    Another clock, this one by Laure Gremion, has sixty vents -- one for each second -- that form a grille over the minute and hour hand, in effect, portraying time through the filter of the second hand.

  • 07 /12 | Spettro

    A powerful magnet captures paperclips under the hood of this "flying saucer." By Matthieu Girel

  • 08 /12 | A4

    Marie Douel’s A4 concept lets you build your own waste paper basket out of the waste paper itself, with just a curl of wood to get you started.

  • 09 /12 | Ciambella

    Inspired by cake molds, Ciambella, by Carlo Clopath, is a pencil holder whose built-in "cake pan" can store paperclips, erasers, and other small accessories.

  • 10 /12 | Saros

    Manon Briod’s clock reveals a new pattern every second owing to the intricate optics of the face.

  • 11 /12 | Fierzo

    A lovely, minimal message board with a pencil holder for support, by Julie Richoz

  • 12 /12 | Stadium

    Here, Raphaël Nessim designed a versatile storage container by mimicking the tiers of a stadium.

Alessi, Italy's venerated purveyor of high-end home wares, tapped the best and brightest from ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne recently to produce a set of stunningly simple concept office accessories.

The results are pretty astounding, especially when you consider that these kids — all sophomore industrial-design students — probably aren't even old enough to have spent much time, if any, in an office. Their ideas range from a hanging magnetic paperclip holder to a waste basket that you build up with sheets of paper to what might be the world's most minimal tape dispenser — all styled with the quiet but forceful efficiency that has defined Swiss design for decades.

The accessories debuted in an exhibit curated by ECAL prof and ID department head Elric Petit during Milan Design Week earlier this month. We've selected some of our favorite products above.

[Images via ECAL]

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