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Thirty years ago, when high-style housewares company Alessi pioneered the shift from in-house to licensed design, an explosion of creativity led to Frank Gehry tea kettles and vases by Zaha Hadid. Now the company is breaking new ground with Internet contests open to designers anywhere in the world via a crowdsourcing platform called Desall (Design for All). Suddenly, renowned and unknown talents are on equal footing, and careers launched—virtually. Witness Warp and Weft, the winning design by 30-year-old Luca Galbusero in a 2013 competition dubbed #ConcreteinDesign. Reworked for commercial production, the indoor-outdoor fruit bowl of finely knotted concrete ($450) premiered in the U.S. at Alessi’s WantedDesign showroom in New York in May. Soft Square, 1506 Fruitville Road, Sarasota (941) 554-4068.

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