Servotecnica Award - Do students dream of an electric motor?*

The answer to the question above is a convinced “yes”. Luciana Guidotti

We understood this by attending the awards ceremony for seven works made by the 3rd and 4th year students of a Lombard art high school, who “worked around the concept of electric motor” creating results very different in kind: with futuristic or neoclassical features, visions of futuristic cities in pastel colors, a research suspended between past and present, which ventured as far as the  Japanese manga or Tibetan mandala ...

Everything arose out of a fine undertaking, fielded by two very different though in this context complementary subjects: on the one hand the company Servotecnica and its thirty years experience in the field of industrial automation, on the other the  IPSIA Meroni institute, Lissone.
Accompanied by a strong sense of belonging to Lombardy, the two concerns created a lively cultural and educational project that led to a contest that highlighted the commitment of  the young students and the whole school structure. And things did not stop here.
What strikes one is  that all actors involved - industry, school, students - accepted the challenge to think beyond the box in an intellectual game that is all the  more provocative for the very reason that it lies well beyond habitual paradigms.
With an added satisfaction: to have valorised a modus operandi that expresses itself in a collective commitment, an unmistakable message to today’s students and future workers.

* The title good-naturedly, but with the utmost respect - alludes  to Philip K. Dick’s famous 1968 novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, from which one of the most important creations of contemporary filmmaking: Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott in 1982, was drawn.

The reasons behind the competition
The role of industry. As Sabrina Bistoletti (marketing Servotecnica): «Our “Award” is born out out of idea of propriety, with the desire to make the headquarters of the Nova Milanese based company even more welcoming…. Evermore “home” that is to say.
Thus we welcomed the proposal by Umberto Cifarelli (architect as well as member of the IPSIA Meroni school council), who suggested we might involve the school students in creating works of art that would have made our premises look special.
After having thought up the subject, obviously referring to our sphere of action, we gave the students some pieces to study or even to  materially insert into the composition: theirs was the task of adding artistic verve and creativity to interpret the concept of “electric motor”.
And the results - Bistoletti tells us with absolute sincerely - were truly staggering, to the point where the small jury charged with choosing the winners didn’t have the heart to do so. Hence we decided to involve all the personnel at Servotecnica, called upon to judge 12 works done by the students and to choose 7 projects to be awarded. Hence we got to 26 September, day the cash prizes and certificates were to be handed over to the students, with some regret in not having been able to award all those taking part for the enthusiasm and interest shown in the field and for the ideas they gave to us».

The role of the school. «We are not new to this type of activity, given that we have always promoted the expertise of IPSIA in the area adhering to projects in the school-work alternation and taking part in national and international competitions» school director Carmelo Catalano underlined.
And he gave a prestigious example: the logo chosen to represent the Italian EU Presidency semester - a stylised swallow with the European and Italian colors - was created by our students, who won the “My Europe is…” contest promoted by the government and that involved over 600 institutes».
Professore Daniele Gatti, who curated the project right from its initial phases, entered into the merits of the prize promoted by Servotecnica. «The works - he explains - were carried out in the artistic high school, “design, curvature, wood and decor” being the main indicators, and it was a chance to exit from the specific subjects of the course.
With the two classes involved we analysed the problem, aboveall researching into the electric motor and reasoning on the connections with technological evolution tout court, a theme that is extremely complex on its own. The students responded individually and then collectively chose the best proposals from a conceptual point of view, to then go on to develop them in terms of graphics and creativity.
Divided up into work groups led by a “project head” (the person who conceived the idea chosen), they were then supported by the teachers and shop supervisors in the realisation phase».   

 Who did what
• Activate since 1980 in the field of automation and motion control, Servotecnica offers to the Italian market unique, state-of-the-art technology based products, developed by leading manufacturers worldwide. It offers comprehensive services and solutions: from the choice of  product to software development to the most suitable application.
• The IPSIA Meroni di Lissone (MB) is a school where you learn the “true” made in Italy, made up of care for detail and creativity, expertise and manual skills: a fundamental mix in view of ones introduction to the world of work. Set up as a professional institute for woodworking - today it also hosts an art high school and a graphic design institute - it has been continuing since 1870 in the district of Lombardy dedicated to furnishing production. Classroom teaching activities are completed in the workshops, fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment.


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