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The EMSi spacesuit by REA Space wins the Compasso d'Oro 2024

June 24th, 2024
The innovative start-up, incubated in I3P and part of the ESA BIC Turin community, won one of the most prestigious Italian design awards.

Following the success of the Ax-3 mission in January 2024, where the EMSi spacesuit (Electrical Muscle Simulation) did its first in-orbit test in the SpaceX’s Crew Dragon with the support of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the Italian start-up REA Space has just reached a new milestone: on June 20 it was awarded the Compasso d’Oro 2024, a prestigious recognition by Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI).

The award was given to REA Space and its CEO Flavio Gentile as the designer during the award ceremony, held at the ADI Design Museum in Milan, of the XXVIII edition of the Compasso d’Oro, one of the most famous Italian design awards, established in 1954 by Gio Ponti.

Founded in February 2022 by four co-founders, each with over ten years of experience in various fields ranging from textiles to aerospace, in 2023 the young innovative company has entered the ESA BIC Turin incubation program, managed by I3P, and has since achieved significant recognition. Achieving the Compasso d'Oro award is a great fulfillment for REA Space and its founders, who have created innovative spacesuits strongly different from those currently available in the market, addressing the needs of astronauts in space.

Until now, no one had succeeded in allowing astronauts to live extended periods in microgravity without facing adverse effects, which require intense rehabilitation to regain motor skills once back on Earth. This is why the EMSi suit was created: it is the first intra-vehicular suit composed of a triple system of sensors, electrodes, and fabric capable of generating muscle contraction equivalent to that on Earth, effectively simulating gravity in near-zero gravity conditions.

The Compasso d’Oro has ancient origins: it was initially organized by the department store La Rinascente to highlight the value and quality of Italian design products in their early stages. Later, it was donated to Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI), which has been organizing it since 1958, continuously recognizing the best design products over the years.

From the past to the present, from the mid-20th century to 2024, focusing on innovation and beauty, form and substance: the EMSi suit from REA Space encompasses all these elements, bringing the Compasso d’Oro from Earth to space. Now REA has joined over 350 projects awarded in more than sixty years of the prize’s history, collected and preserved in the ADI Compasso d’Oro Historical Collection, managed by the ADI Foundation.

It’s an incredible feeling, it’s an honor to receive such a prestigious award,” said Flavio Gentile, CEO of REA Space and designer of EMSi. “I never thought in my life that I could win a design award. It is very important for us because it means that the work done is also appreciated in such a fascinating context as the design world. Made in Italy is famous for this, and it is a pleasure to have contributed to adding value to our country through a product that will bear the name of Italian design around the world and into space.

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