Allegrini 2018

Tasting wine – at zero gravity- in special wine glasses designed by students and ITALESSE

The Politecnico di Milano Space 4InspirAction 2021 course is the only one ESA has acknowledged. Ideas for a space Hotel around the Earth

What will tasting wine in an orbiting space station be like? The strategic planetary exploration programs of ESA (the European Space Agency), have involved the students of Space 4InspirAction, masters of the Polytechnic School, Politecnico in Milan, who have created eleven innovative projects to experience the emotion of tasting wine and food, also in space. The professors, Annalisa Dominoni and Benedetto Quaquaro, supervised the students, who were invited to imagine new and more comfortable ways of living, transferring space technologies and behaviors to earth, as well as also testing terrestrial innovations in space, in order to improve the quality of life onboard the Space Station, International Space (ISS). Space 4InspirAction is the first Space Design course in the world. It was founded in 2017 at the Politecnico di Milano, as part of the Integrated Product Design Master's Degree. Further, it is the only course that the European Space Agency (ESA) has acknowledged. Thanks to the collaboration with world-famous industrial companies, innovative concepts have been developed using various technologies, in a period in which we are beginning to talk about and experiment with “Space Tourism”. This year, ITALESSE, an Italian firm, leader in the production of professional wine glasses and accessories designed to enhance the uniqueness of each wine and its terroir, together with BluRhapsody by Barilla, which is involved in developing and supporting innovative food projects, and ANCAP, a company that specializes in porcelain tableware, were all asked to design, in collaboration with the students, new food & wine experiences inside a space Hotel orbiting the Earth.
The challenge was to imagine new objects for eating and drinking in an environment that is not part of everyday life, because it is zero gravity, where movements and sensory perceptions are altered, and then transform these limits of microgravity into an advantage and new ways of using them in which space tourists will be able to live unique and unexpected experiences.
Taking into consideration spatial limits, the students offered incredible and innovative solutions. Just to give an example of a few of the most interesting projects: “Mission Eat”, a sphere shaped glass that allows you to drink wine and perceive its aromas, thanks to movements and rotations that support the behavior of the liquid in a weightless atmosphere; “Re-thinking Eating”, wine glasses that can interact directly with the wine, as if it were in a sort of circular decanter; “Mirrored” and “Yoi!” that imagine glasses redesigned for the wine experience in zero gravity, triggering new movements”. “Italesse has collaborated on this project proposing its own design of glasses that are able to enhance the sensory and emotional aspects of wine. Seeing the commitment and the ideas the students in the course who, confronted with spatial limits, have been able to offer inconceivable, innovative and engaging solutions, is a stimulus to continue our company’s commitment to design, every day, professional wine glasses that know how to excite, going beyond the norm… perhaps one day even breaking down the spatial ones”, underlined the Marketing Manager of the Trieste Crystal company, and sommelier, Paolo Lauria.

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