The Design Award that bears its name is one of the most eagerly awaited events at Smau, Italy’s biggest Information and Communication Technology Fair. Now in its 35th edition, the Smau Industrial Design Award aims to identify products that offer the ideal blend of “functional and ergonomic efficiency, quality of design and manufacture, research excellence and originality, usefulness, products that are simple to use given the complexity of their construction and which make a significant contribution to technological innovation”.

For the first time this year’s award is divided into two sections. The Smau Product Prize goes to hardware/software designers and manufacturers, while the Smau Archigraphic Prize is for the best stand design at the show. The Jury chaired by Marco Bonetto also featured Giuseppe Busnelli, Fulvio Cinti, Roberto Giolito, Denis Santachiara, Roberto Dadda, Luca Traverso and Giancarlo Illiprandi. What they found was that most manufacturers are going for evolution rather than revolution at this time. Winning products included Logitech’s Pocket Digital camera which is no bigger than a credit card and will fit into your top pocket. Another winner was the wireless projector designed by Pininfarina for Dicom, a product that was able to achieve extreme simplicity of form thanks to its use of an advanced technology that eliminated all the inconvenience of cable connections.

Superlative design quality was the virtue shared by three other winners: Samsung’s SyncMaster SM 172 video, the Stile telephone designed by Paolo Villa for Promelit and Epson’s Stylus Photo 2100 printer.

Other awards went to the Symantec Gateway – Firewall Security, a family of anti-hacker systems and Pinnacle Edition DV software for professional video editing.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 137

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