Space Invaders Design Group

From Milano, Italy comes the talented talent of the Space Invaders Design Group.

Fresh from University, these talented young designers have now completed their degrees but are still meeting to enter design competitions.

The team have kindly given Design Tavern a taste of their work –  A few past University projects.

"Monolite was our final university effort.. "

Tell us a little about yourselves, where are you from and where are you living now?

Four people make up Space Invaders and we are each from a different part of Italy. We met in Milano at university and discovered that working together could have been some potential so we gave it a go and we created the group.

The Space Invaders group is composed by Giovanni Mendini, Stefano Pertegato, Francesco Schiraldi and Eloisa tolu.

The project was for a lighting system which can become something more than a simple lamp, and is actually an “interactive architetural element” to fit in with the SOHO housings (office houses in which dwellers live their entire day).

How did you come up with the name “space invaders design” the 80s icon i hope!

The name actually has two meanings. It came during a workshop when we made acollaboration with some Australian students. It was called “Octopus, porosity of the city” and we immediately thought of something that could really invade the city space, like a giant octopus.

The second reason is that we needed some graphic mark to identify our style and our approach

We already liked the name so we just picked one small alien from the 80’s arcade videogame with it’s amazing pop and pixelated graphics- it really symbolize our light and ironic approach to design.

This lack of external impulses brings a psycho-physical stress and our challenge was to “design a lamp to make people feel elsewhere”

What does each of you bring to the table? Do you each have particular strengths?

Eloisa is very good in doing research, while Stefano is skilled in drawing. Francesco is the one with the best ideas for concepts and Giovanni is the one who makes everything fit together.

In the end we realized that the most important figure is the one who can make a good coffee which brings peace back in the group in the most “busy” moments.

The most important thing in a creative group is to be all different but to share a common design view.

We did a lot of research into attention, interaction, and the multisensorial aspect of living. After this we came up with a lighting object which could involve the user,supported by visual and hearing experiences.

What people inspires you as a group?

All of us share a common tuition coming from the same university, but whilst we were working together we had the chance to discover artists, designers, architects and people who all influenced us.. Our biggest references are to Naoto Fukasawa because his works keep a unique lightness joined with a deeper meaning. Other’s such as Jonathan Ive, Muji, B&O and of course a little dose of “Rock n’ Roll” to make things less boring…

The ALGASTER project has had a lot of development: its aim was to have a concept for a future tractor which could imagine an evolutive scenery of agriculture, linked more to intelligence than to crude power.

What are your other interests beside design?

Well, this question got an immediate and common answer: Rock and Roll. But also photography, graphics, cinema and travels.

The beginning step was to understand modern agricultural tendencies, and it let us discover the “no food” agriculture, aimed to the production of clean energy and not polluting fuels

What’s the best and worst parts of being a full time, working designers?

The best part is when you know you are working on a good concept. And the end results is up to you!

The knowledge of being able to live, thanks to your ideas is something without comparison.

Also the nights spent working as a group: they are a really unifying experience, jokes, laughs, fights and problems become something to remember together.

Algae can be used for energy production due to its of high oil content. Furthermore, the Algaster can provide water cleaning in polluted areas where algae growth may exceed normal conditions (eutrophic waters) i.e generating energy from pollution.

Any advice to up and coming designers?

“Do something else…”

I’m sure the Space Invaders Group are only mucking around  when they suggest those wishing to become designers should “do some else.”
Their Passion for design after all is really amazing, and they are lucky to find such close-knit, like minded group members!

Stefano Pertegato has put up some of his and the group’s work at
A huge thanks from the design tavern and best of luck withthe AlcantaraLab competition.


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