73481 - Product Development Processes (A-K)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Elena Maria Formia (Modulo 1) Flaviano Celaschi (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Industrial Design (cod. 8182)

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module, the student achieves a high level of ability to conceptualise, formalise, represent and communicate the design result in all its phases. He/she knows how to set up a conscious approach to pre-design research. He/she is able to conduct and monitor the concept generation process, also through the experimentation of methodologies and tools useful for design activities carried out individually or in groups. He/she possesses competences concerning the technical design and technical production development phases, realising adequate graphic tools, three-dimensional models and/or working prototypes. Finally, he/she is able to elaborate a complete design of the narrative process of the conceived product system.

Course contents

Within the Laboratorio di Sintesi Finale, the Course intends, on the one hand, to introduce a critical reflection on the methods and tools of research for design and, on the other, to recall the fields of interest of contemporary design by introducing the students on some particularly topical themes that cross the design action as a subject of scientific study.

The two components are respectively held by Profs. Elena Formia (Module 1) and Flaviano Celaschi (Module 2).

Main contents Module 1: RESEARCH FOR THE PROJECT

Objectives: the Module is part of the Laboratorio di Sintesi Finale through two specific activities concerning the meta-design phase (Phase 1 and Phase 2). These activities, carried out during the first part of the course in close synergy with the contents of the Integrated Disegno Industriale T module, will aim to accompany students in setting up the project.

Articulation: The first part (Phase 1 - September-October 2023 - Literacy and Research) aims to provide students with an examination of methods and tools. The main contents will be devoted to the topics:

- Innovation and research: contemporary perspectives
- Research for the project: nature, methods, characteristics
- Research tools and use of sources
- Thesis preparation

The second part (Phase 2 - October 2023 - Scenarios) will focus on scenarios as a method, approach and tool for setting project paths. The main contents will be devoted to the themes:

- Advanced Design and Anticipation
- The future in the design narrative
- Scenario building, history, approaches, examples


Context: Students, having almost reached the end of their three-year degree course and about to tackle the Laboratorio di Sintesi Finale, thesis research and graduation, are faced with having to decide on which theme to apply their energies in order to start specialising and practising the design research they have learnt. In this context, an internal LSF module comes into play, which is intended to address, with the tools of critical design, the theme of finding interesting, topical problems, within the reach of contemporary design, among the thousands of themes that can be identified around us.

Objectives: The module is an integral part of the training process and accompanies students in improving their ability to identify interesting and topical issues toward which to direct their personal thesis or professional research. In addition, the module exercises the ability to professionally present one's arguments using public speaking strategies, professional tools and ways of engaging the target audience.

Articulation: It is identical for the A-K and L-Z sections and requires students in groups of 2 (self-formed) to choose, respecting the criteria given by the lecturer, a topic on which to practice constructing a small public lecture or public presentation meeting of modest duration. Therefore in the first part of the program we will devote attention to choosing interesting topics, while in the second part we will put our professional content presentation skills to work. The format will include 10 lectures for each lesson lasting about 3.5 hours. Precise references and module organization will be given at the start of the course.

Output: The module requires all students to make a professional self video clip presenting the topic validated by the lecturer, the products will then be commented on in the classroom and self-assessed by the students themselves.


Professors will provide, in their lectures and in the moments of revision, precise references to texts, sites, journals, magazines, and documents available to deepen the topics presented. Bibliographic indications may also be added as a function of further information necessary during the educational path.

Suggested texts (being updated before and during the class period September-December 2023):

  • Celaschi, F. Il design della forma merce, Il sole 24 ore edizioni, Milano 2000
  • Celaschi, F., Deserti, A., Design e Innovazione, Carocci, Roma 2007
  • Celaschi, F., Non industrial design, Luca Sossella, Milano 2017
  • Formia, E., Storie di Futuri e Design, Maggioli, Sant'Arcangelo di Romagna (RM) 2017
  • Formia, E., Gianfrate, V., & Vai, E., Design e Mutazioni, BUP 2021
  • Formia, E., Gianfrate V., & Succini, L. (a cura di), Design per l'innovazione responsabile, Franco Angeli 2023

Teaching methods

During the development of the course students will be offered contributions/lectures lasting about 1-2 hours each, held by the professors and/or by any guests.

The revisions of students' work with other professors of the Laboratorio di Sintesi finale are part of the Course.

In addition, forms of peer-to-peer assessment among students will be encouraged.

Attendance is compulsory. It is surveyed by the teachers in class and students absent in more than 30% of the lessons will not be admitted to the final evaluation.

Assessment methods

Presentation and discussion of the final outputs foreseen for all the modules of the integrated course (final presentation of the works). Each of the results in the teaching modules will be evaluated. The criteria will be communicated by the Professors of the didactic modules. The various evaluations will form an overall final judgment of each student (in part, the result of collective work and, in part, of individual work).

The evaluation criteria will include:

- Topicality, originality, consistency with design, of the proposal
- Quality of the presentation and argumentation
- Active participation in the role of commentator

Teaching tools

VIRTUALE: teacher-student communications; loading teaching materials; student material deliveries; forum with students / community

TEAMS: virtual classroom

MIRO: for brainstorming and other forms of shared planning;


Collaboration with external structures (labs, libraries, etc.);

Participation in conferences, talks, exhibitions and/or educational visits.

Office hours

See the website of Elena Maria Formia

See the website of Flaviano Celaschi


Gender equality Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure

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