81906 - Industrial Design 6

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The module intends to lead the student to develop a process of understanding of the dynamics, actors, themes, processes that characterise the relationship between innovation and advanced design, in order to orient him/her towards a progressive synthesis of the Master's degree course undertaken. Through ex-cathedra lectures, seminars, and practice sessions, the main themes characterising contemporary innovation processes, into which design action will be grafted, will be addressed.

Course contents

The LABORATORIO DI ADVANCED 3A C.I. is an integrated course consisting of the Disegno industriale 6 (6 CFU) and Morfologia del prodotto (5 CFU) modules.

Similarly, the LABORATORIO DI DESIGN DEI SISTEMI B C.I. is an integrated course consisting of the Service Design per l'innovazione (6 CFU) and Analisi dell’ambiente costruito (4 CFU) modules.

The Disegno industriale 6 teaching module, as well as that of Service Design per l'innovazione, will be divided into two contributions.

Module 1 will be respectively managed by Proff. Giorgio Dall’Osso and Valentina Gianfrate, who will develop a research and design development path that adheres to the requirements identified in Module 2. In the Advanced Products Design curriculum, the focus will be on design and its interaction with the body in relation to spaces; in the Advanced Services Design curriculum, the focus will be on design for innovation.

Module 2, chaired by Prof. Elena Formia, will be borrowed from the Advanced Products and Services Design curriculum. The goal will be to lead students towards an exploration of research for the project, with an in-depth study of methods, tools, processes that guide them to undertake the master’s thesis path.


Module 2, as well as the part of Module 1 (Service), chaired by Prof. Valentina Gianfrate, participate in the University's didactic experimentation project, through a didactic form of collaboration between the two Product and Service training courses. The Modules ("Research Lab") are divided into 3 Phases. All Phases envisage forms of didactic innovation, according to the following three actions:
- hybrid form of education; - internationalisation; - design thinking for research.
In Phases 1 and 3, the introduction of the hybrid model is planned.

Phase 1. Research Lab: Themes and Tools

In this phase, a pathway is undertaken towards the choice of a research field and the writing of a master's thesis. In addition to methodological lectures (face-to-face), there is a problem-based and peer education modality consisting in the organisation of a co-design workshop, facilitated by lecturers and professionals, to identify, understand and cluster research topics (face-to-face/online). In fact, the course proposes a cognitive apparatus on global megatrends (demographic change, technological advancement, environmental sustainability and green economy, increasing inequalities), addressing them as elements of an integrated system, on which to define the impacts of the designer's actions. This cognitive apparatus is fed by multidisciplinary and multigenerational experts, with a strong participation of young creatives and designers engaged in actions in the different innovation domains. Students are guided in a process of content co-construction based on their own research interests, gradually working in small thematic groups in which they develop forms of in-depth analysis and evaluation of their own research proposals. At the same time, collaborative boards and remote collaboration platforms are used to gather insights, make them the shared heritage of the group, and structure them in such a way that they remain in time through a process of continuous updating and research.

Phase 2. Research Lab: Experiences

In this phase the students are offered a simulated design of international competitive research and action projects (e.g. New European Bauhaus, Horizon Europe), useful to integrate the training with languages, adherence to specific requests related to the great European and global challenges, to assume awareness of European programming and to establish skills for the relationship between global approach and local action. The students are called upon to work directly on the formats envisaged by the calls for proposals and to confront themselves with a storytelling ability appropriate to the demands expressed by the calls.

Phase 3: Research Lab: Innovation Contexts

In this phase, a system of seminars with national and international guests is proposed (and co-constructed with them) to the students in order to understand where, what and whom to question in order to hands-on the Advanced Designer's research areas and future employment prospects. Therefore, the teaching envisages the involvement of Italian and foreign professionals, researchers and collectives linked to the cultures of design, but also to the themes of innovation and research, through frontal lectures, collective and individual work (presential/online). The meetings are organised in presence or remotely with the help of collaborative platforms that are activated in advance in order to share preparatory materials and specific supports for conscious participation in the proposed work sessions. They are accompanied by forms of discussion and debate (in-presence), while the materials created online can be further fed by the students' results.


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 during the period September 2023-January 2024):

  • Celaschi, F., & Deserti, A., Design e Innovazione, Carocci 2007
  • Celaschi, F., Non industrial design, Luca Sossella 2017
  • Connell, R., Writing for Research, 2015. Retrieved from www.raewynconnell.net
  • Formia, E. & Celi, M. (Eds.), Humanities Design Lab. Le culture del progetto e le scienze umane e sociali, Maggioli 2016
  • Formia, E., Storie di futuri e design. Anticipazione e sostenibilità nella cultura italiana del progetto, Maggioli 2017
  • Formia, E., Gianfrate, V., & Vai, E., Design e mutazioni. Processi per la trasformazione continua della città, BUP 2021
  • Formia, E., Gianfrate V., & Succini, L. (Eds.), Design per l'innovazione responsabile, Franco Angeli 2023
  • Friedman, K., Research Writing Resources, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.academia.edu/3068653/Friedman._2015._Free_Research_Writing_Resources_Books_to_Buy_and_Services
  • Zannoni, M., Progetto e interazione. Il design degli ecosistemi interattivi, Quodlibet 2018

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 course will also make use of a system for reviewing the students' work envisaged in the two Modules, depending on the used teaching approach. The revisions can be for single group or collective, depending on the didactic calendar of the course. There are also peer to peer reviews between students and the sharing of models/assessment tools. The Professors will communicate the nature, methods and timing at the beginning of the teaching activity.

Students will be asked to carry out individual and/or group works depending on the correspondence to the more research or design component envisaged by the course.

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).

Teaching tools

The teaching envisages the use of multimedia tools and platforms in order to accelerate the digital literacy of students, complete team-related skills, and facilitate open access and open knowledge processes.

Students and teachers can work remotely on project concepts and proposed topics using collaborative boards, such as Miro.

Students and lecturers can use the Microsoft Teams communication and collaboration platform, which provides dialogue tools (virtual meetings, chats, etc.), planning and filing and writing systems that can be accessed and edited by several people.

Students and teachers can store materials and documents, record and share video lectures and project outputs, plan deliveries, exchange information and announcements.

Platform for sharing case studies, interviews, videos, data for the creation of an open and updatable repository by/for Design students.

Students are also introduced to the processes of data analysis and visualisation, both qualitative and quantitative, through open source tools such as DataBasic.io [http://databasic.io/] and suites of easy-to-use web tools that foster data literacy.


Collaboration with external facilities (model workshop, photo lab, libraries, etc.).

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

Office hours

See the website of Elena Maria Formia

See the website of Giorgio Dall'Osso


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.