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Design and Technology: Saes Group and Politecnico di Milano

05 July 2021 — 2 minutes read

Every year the School and the Department of Design of Politecnico di Milano establish many educational and research collaborations with companies all over the world in order to share experiences, knowledge and skills and at the same time achieve transversal and multidisciplinary results.

In 2019 a close collaboration started with SAES Group, an "advanced functional materials Company" that conceives, develops and produces new families of functional materials, with special characteristics of use that can be applied in various fields. SAES is active in multiple cutting-edge technological sectors such as the production and research of shape memory alloys (SMA), intelligent materials that, subjected to a thermal differential or an electric impulse, modify their shape giving rise to mechanical action.

In the frame of continuous research and development, a cooperation between SAES and the School of Design was kicked off, during a workshop hosted by the Integrated Product Design Master course. Students were introduced and inspired to design innovative products capable of surprising, by changing their appearance and interacting with the user and the surrounding environment.

The results of this collaboration showed how, by integrating technology, research and design, it is possible to find new embodiments to already existing technologies developing concepts and valuable solutions changing current paradigms.

Among the 50 projects proposed during the workshop, Professor Francesco Zurlo and Professor Alessandro Deserti with the representatives of Saes Group, have selected three exemplary projects capable of embodying the results of the research: two audio speakers and one smart baby bottle.

EVE and OASI show a new concept of audio speakers that are no longer passive objects, but elements that bring dynamism to environments, exploring the visual dimension of music through the movement of the speaker itself. EVE and OASI speakers come to life thanks to the synchronous action of SMA elements embedded under the surface, capable of transforming music into motion.

NOBU is an intelligent baby bottle equipped with a safety valve that allows milk to be dispensed only at the right temperature. One SMA spring, located in the heart of the valve is able to sense the temperature of the milk and react accordingly: if the milk is too hot, the valve prevents it from being dispensed. Milk can flow only at the correct temperature at which the SMA has been engineered: no thermometers, batteries, electric actuators and complex mechanisms are required.

OASI is a project by: Anna Bottan, Anna Moruzzi, Matteo Rocchitelli, Mattia Toffanetti, Anna Tremolada.

NOBU is a project by: Bothra Siddhant, Gandhi Saksham, Muolo Marco, Pizzi Marco, Wang Jie.

EVE is a project by: Bettina Gabriele Braun, Chiara Franco, Daniel Aluisius Ferreira Santo, Matteo Maria Tagliabue e Robin Wenzel.