73453 - Design Methods T (L-Z)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Elena Maria Formia

  • Credits 5

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Industrial Design (cod. 8182)

  • Course Timetable from Feb 22, 2022 to Jun 07, 2022


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

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

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the Course the student, through a comparison with a real case of design problem and starting from the brief, knows how to identify the result margins, prefigure the pre-planning research path and the design process to be adopted.

Course contents

The Course has the objective of setting the activity and the tools of design research, exercising the students' ability to realize their identity as unique and related; helping them to look for their 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 pre-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 masters of design);
  • 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 into two modules.

Module 1 aims to investigate the tools necessary for design research from the point of view of artifact analysis.

Module 2 aims to deepen the tools necessary for design research from the point of view of bibliographic sources for the development of critical consciousness.

Students will be assessed on different exercises related to both Modules.


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 of the progress of 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