The modular shelving system VITA was designed by Derix and Izaki in collaboration with Massimo Mariani in 2008 for MDFItalia and launched at the Salone del Mobile in 2009. As the globally first online user-generated furniture design, a bespoke design algorithm was developed by SUPERSPACE (then Aedas R&D) that calculates all possible connectivity permutations from a selected set of modules on a user-specified grid. The product is called VITA in reference to the ‘Game of Life’ created by the mathematician John Conway in the late sixties.
VITA was an experiment by MDFItalia to allow customers design their own shelving unit interactively and remotely. Design constraints and brand rules had to be programmed into the software, so that all configurations remained recognizable and buildability was guaranteed. Customers could automatically or completely manually configure their unit or choose to collaborate with the software to help them find best trade-offs between their requirements and optimal combinations. All data such as pricing, book capacity or TV sizing would be displayed as performance metrics. Configurations can be saved on local computers, edited later and send off to the manufacturer. The final result encoded pricing, structural elements and electric connection nodes, to facilitate a seamless transition to production and delivery after a customer had submitted a design file.
VITA was called the first ‘Design 2.0’ in furniture design by Interni in 2009 and in 2011 won an Honorary Mention at the 22nd ADI Compasso d’Oro, the prestigious global industrial design awards.