73453 - Design Methods T (G-Z)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Industrial Design (cod. 8182)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, the student is able to use the basic analytical, critical and expressive tools for understanding and interpreting the design project and industrial products. Through exercises on the founding elements of industrial design, the student gets to know: the components of design research (morphological, technological, historical, etc.); the role of the user through notions of ergonomics, visual and haptic perception; the main contexts of study and dissemination of contemporary design cultures; the characteristics of design methods.

Course contents

The Course aims at setting the activity and the tools of design research, exercising the students' ability to realize their identity; helping them to look for masters; to know the artifacts; to set up a continuous personal research; to respond to design questions. In summary, the Course exercises the mouldable qualities of the future designer, returned through a "pentagon" model that constitutes the framework of the teaching activity.

Skills Pentagon:

1) Search for my masters;

2) Know the artifacts;

3) Set up my basic search;

4) Carry out a design research;

5) Build my identity.

Thanks to the activities proposed in the individual teaching modules, the Course insists on the meaning of meta-design research (observation) and the synthesis of complex and contemporary phenomena by applying "desk" and "field" research methodologies:

  • morphological research (observation of nature, basic design, etc.);
  • technological research (intuitive use and performance of materials, simple processing, modeling and materialization of ideas, disassembling and assembling capabilities of technical objects);
  • historical research and reference literature (study of artifacts, study of the design masters);
  • individual and constant research over time (set the need for each student to build personal and continuous research topics to be explored over the long term and in which to accumulate content and experiences that are managed and stored in a usable way).

By sharing these general objectives, the integrated course is divided in two: Metodologie della Progettazione and Disegno Industriale.

The course Metodologie della Progettazione will be articulated by a set of exercises about research components and design methods.

The first part aims to investigate the tools necessary for design research from the point of view of artifact analysis.

The second part aims to deepen the tools necessary for design research from the point of view of contextual analysis and bibliographic sources for the development of critical consciousness.


In the lectures, in the exercises and in the moments of review, punctual references will be provided to texts, sites, magazines and documents available to deepen the topics presented.

In addition, bibliographic information may be added based on the information needed during the course (in particular for Module 2).

Teaching methods

During the course development students will be offered frontal contributions lasting about 1-2 hours each.

Students will also be invited to participate in events promoted by the University Course (seminars with national and international guests, exhibitions, competitions, etc.).

Each of the teaching modules that make up the course framework will include one or more exercises.

Students will be asked to carry out work alone or in groups to obtain different outputs, each of which will contribute to the final evaluation.

At the punctual revisions carried out in the classroom, there will be moments of collective revision in front of the teaching group, in which the students will present the progress of their own works.

Attendance is mandatory. It is recognized with a signature and students who are absent for more than 30% of the lessons will not be admitted to the final evaluation.

Assessment methods

The exam will be organized as an exhibition of the final works.

Each of the results obtained in the individual teaching modules will be evaluated.

The various assessments will form the final judgment of each student of the integrated course (in part, the result of collective work and, in part, of individual work).

They contribute to the formulation of the judgment:

- active participation in the course;

- quality of the papers presented;

- punctuality to lessons and deliveries.

Teaching tools

  • Frontal lessons (presentations / slideshows);
  • Individual and collective revisions (peer education) of the students' work;
  • Monographic and seminar lectures with invited guests (the calendar will be made available at the beginning of the course);
  • Collaboration with external structures (model laboratory, photographic laboratory, libraries, etc.).

Office hours

See the website of Elena Maria Formia


Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure Responsible consumption and production

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.