The XII Targa Bonetto, competition open to schools and universities all over the world, goes to an innovative wi-fi hot spot

An access point to get connected to the internet and communicate wirelessly in airports, shopping centres and the open-air. SPD Scuola Politecnica di Design has been awarded the top SMAU Industrial Design award, XII Targa Rodolfo Bonetto – the competition reserved to schools and universities all over the world – for Cristian Riccardi’s Mushware project.

For the second year running the jury, which was made up of leading figures from the world of design such as Michele De Lucchi, James Irvine and Carlo Forcolini as well as the chair, Marco Bonetto, has awarded the prize to the Milan school – – which has been doing ongoing, intensive research into new technology design since 2001 in association withMicrosoft Italy.

The winning project, which was developed on the SPD Master’s in Industrial Design coordinated by Piero Lissoni, is much more than just awireless aerial for telecommunications. With its unusual shape of an imposingly large mushroom, this service immediately makes its purpose clear like the telephone boxes of the past. Mushware is a symbol and icon of wireless access to new-generation services; it puts people in touch – near or far, and at any moment or place, from university campus to the beach.

Mushware takes on a unifying social role as well: each aerial has small spotswhich can act as microphones, webcams, monitors, sound speakers, image and light projectors. These spots capture the life going on around the Mushware and transmit them to other analogue aerials connected online. Video, sound and information bounce back from one spot to another, from one point on the planet to another.

According to Cristian Riccardi, the concept’s author, Mushware is a tool that “makes communication simpler because it provides the freedom to swap words and images without needing cables, immediately, directly, always and anywhere. It doesn’t only help us to share everyday work data, making the the office dematerialise as a physical place, it also supplies us with all those interconnectional and entertainment services that have now become absolutely essential.”

SPD Scuola Politecnica di Design‘s research work will also continue during the Master’s in Industrial Design ’03-’04 which starts in the next few weeks with the exploration of ways of interacting between people, spaces and smart tools.

First prize, SMAU Industrial Design Award 2003, XII Targa Rodolfo Bonetto
Project: Mushware
Student: Cristian Riccardi
Tutor: Piero Lissoni
Industrial Design Master’s 2002-2003
In association with Microsoft Italy