73059 - History of Design and Contemporary Architecture

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The main goal of the course is to provide students with critical tools necessary for understanding the most significant events of contemporary design and architecture. At the end, students will be able to identify all the key issues of both production and realization processes; will have understood the deep relationship between objects, spaces and lifestyles; and will be able to describe historically and critically the most important accomplishments of contemporary age.  

Course contents

Course's main goal is to provide students with basic knowledge on history of architecture and design between the 19th century and today. Lectures will have a monographic character and will deal with designers, accomplishments, events or topics particularly relevant for the history of both disciplines.

Beside historical knowledge, the course aims at providing students with methodologies to be used in order to understand the meaning of design in relationship with contemporary society and its cultural productions. Therefore, the course can be considered as a sampling of lifestyles, design approaches or spacial models, which allow us to understand how the taste has evolved in relation to both public and private spaces over the last couple of centuries.

As for the 21st century, the course will investigate the increasing relationships between fashion, design, art and architecture, highlighting the peculiarities of contemporary age, forged by ubiquitous mass media forces and the global market dynamics.


D. Scodeller, Negozi. L’architetto nello spazio della merce, Electa, Milan 2007.

M. Vitta, Il progetto della bellezza. Il design fra arte e tecnica dal 1851 a oggi, Einaudi, Turin 2011.

F. Irace, Storie d’interni. L’architettura dello spazio domestico moderno, Carrocci, Rome 2015.

All the material used during the course will be uploaded to AlmaDL/Insegnamenti On Line and made available to students. This material is to be considered as an integral part of the bibliography.

Teaching methods

The course consists of monographic lectures, during which particularly significant case studies will be analyzed. Lectures follows a chronological order so as to highlight the evolution of debates from a historical perspective.

Attendance is not compulsory but is warmly suggested, especially for those students that have never before encountered course's topics.

Halfway into the course, students will have the chance to take a "self-evaluating" test, the goal of which is to allow them to test their knowledge in topics discussed during lectures. 

"Special lectures" with experts in specific fields are foreseen in order to enrich course's didactic offer.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists in a preliminary written test consisting of 31 multiple-choice questions. The exam lasts 45-60 minutes and is considered passed with at least 18 correct answers.

After the written test, student can chose to accept the mark and register it on the same day; to decline the mart and take the test again on the next appeal; to ask to be interviewed orally. In this last case, the previously obtained mark may be either raised or lowered, according to student's knowledge. During the oral exam, student's achievement of an organic vision of the issues addressed during lessons and their critical use will be assessed with the highest mark. Mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge; non-articulated synthesis and analysis of issues and/or correct language, but not always appropriate, will lead to discrete results; training gaps and/or inappropriate language - although in a context of minimal knowledge of the course themes - will lead to outcomes that will not exceed the sufficiency. Training gaps, inappropriate language, lack of guidance within the reference materials offered during the course will not allow the student to pass the exam.

Teaching tools

Slides and video documents. All the material used during the course will be uploaded to AlmaDL/Insegnamenti On Line. This material is to be considered as an integral part of the bibliography.  

Office hours

See the website of Ines Tolic