Industrial Design

University Master's course

Length of the course 15 months

Start October 2017

Academic training + internship

Today designing products means dealing with both their ideation and their feasibility addressing their entire lifecycle according to a sustainable logic. Industrial design is responsible for the most common consumer goods as well as for new and innovative artifacts. It is also what lies behind the tools and the processes involved in their production and distribution.


A designer conceives products addressed not only to a potential market, but also to the society that has its own consumer rituals and manners. The Master’s course provides an overall experience in product design, from the preliminary concept to its refinement, from physical and digital representation to the communication of the project. The educational approach stresses the experience provided to the user and the social meaning of the product as the designer must also control the impact that his product will have on a social and environmental level. Students are proposed an open, interdisciplinary methodology that values their own cultural background and emphasizes the role of dialogue and mutual exchange in the creative process. The association with major industrial partners has the purpose of perfecting the education by providing students with challenging tasks that allow them to face the relationships with business and organizations in a mature way. Technical training is particularly emphasized to build up solid professional groundings. Students can use modelling and computer design laboratories equipe with the most advanced softwares.





Upon selection the Master admits graduates in Industrial or Product Design, Architecture, Product Engineering or equivalent, and students from academies of applied arts; candidates who have gained significant professional experience in the field. The program has a limited number of places available. Applicants will be admitted upon selection based on the student’s CV, portfolio and on an interview. Applications must be sent to the SPD Academic Office. More information on the admission process here.


The Master lasts 15 months (from October to December of the following year, with a summer break in August). Attendance is compulsory and full time. The total workload of the course corresponds to 1500 hours/student encompassing lessons, class exercises, internship and individual study.


At the end of lessons, students start a three-month internship at companies or professional firms in the field.


The Master’s course is held in English.


After passing the final exam, eligible students will obtain a Master’s Degree from IULM and SPD. The Master corresponds to 60 ECTS credits.


Programmes and teaching staff to be updated


  • Academic Partners
  • Scuola Politecnica di Design SPD - Linealight


  • Cmf (Colour Material Finishing)
    Manuela Bonaiti

    The CMF acronym (Colors, Materials, Finishes) covers all the aspects of color and new materials, the study of trends and the definition of new color systems for a wide range of industrial products. In recent years CMF Design experienced a strong development in several sectors. In industrial design field this marked a new approach characterized by products relying on a strong emotional identity. The course begins with theoretical classes analysing the three main fields in which CMF design has developed – Design, Redesign, Language – followed by a Design Lab focusing on the management of chromatic languages and their application to the project.

  • Materials And Technologies
    Matteo Bravi, Diana Castiglione

    The lessons are intended to convey a general understanding of the key role of materials and production processes for design applications, with specific focus on structural materials and industrial processes. The knowledge about materials and technologies will be constantly integrated with methodological and practical references and linked up with professional, industrial and environmental issues. The course deals with the most widely used production technologies and it is characterized by a specific analysis of plastic materials because of the universal use of polymers in the various industrial fields. Specific lectures will be also dedicated to innovative experience with metals, glass, ceramic and wood.

  • Digital Modelling-Rhino I, I I
    Riccardo Gatti

    The course provides an introduction to the Rhinoceros 3D software and explores in particular advanced techniques in modelling. The aim of the programme is to help participants apply Rhino’s modeling tools in practical situations. The software allows users to produce fairly complex models in a very short time. This very powerful yet easy to learn 3D tool is a high-end NURBS (a mathematical representation that can accurately define geometric shapes from a simple 2D line to the most complex 3D free-form organic surface or solid) modelling software, to create, explore and give real shape to ideas and designs. Rhino allows us to work on very complex 3D design problems without the constrictions of traditional CAD systems. Among many other advanced features Rhino directly outputs STL, the language of 3D printers and Rapid Prototyping systems.
    Contents of the course:
    – drawing in 2D creating lines, circles, arcs, curves, etc;
    – editing using copy, move, array, rotate, trim, split, scale, join;
    – manipulating views;
    – rendering using shade, render, spotlights, and materials (inside Rhino’s own environment);
    – customising the modelling environment: grid, viewports, units, buttons, toolboxes;
    – exporting and importing models; create 3D models using sketches and scanned data;
    – creating complex 3D objects: loft; extruding; sweeping surfaces with one and two rails; revolving; rail revolving; patching; draping;
    – editing and creating surfaces by: extending; filleting; chamfering; offsetting; blending;
    – building 3D objects by cross-sections through profile curves;
    – using the sub-menus ‘edit tools’ both in curves and surfaces menus;
    – using the Boolean Operations (union, difference and intersection)
    – using other Solids construction methods.

  • Design History I, I I
    Ali Filippini

    The aim of this learning experience is to explore the most interesting expressions in contemporary design delivering students with critical features and methodologies needed in order to comprehend the wider design scenario of the present days and its ongoing evolutions. The teaching methodology includes theoretical classes, monographic lessons dedicated to single authors or themes, lectures by designers and encounters with professionals along with guided visits to exhibitions. The lessons tackle the current orientations in product design and creativity, carrying out an analysis of the development of new languages and design philosophies emerging from todays’ cross-fertilization processes among different disciplines. Specific attention is devoted to the contemporary Italian scene thanks to the presentation of its younger yet acclaimed figures.

  • Colour Sketching
    Claudio Fassini

    A correct visualization of the concept, carried out by hand well before becoming a three-dimensional file, is a daily operation in the work of any designer. This allows us to give shape to initial insights and quickly verify issues related to the form, function and feasibility of the design itself before entering the CAD 3D phase. The course therefore provides students with the ability to produce rough visuals along with renderings, achieving a higher quality which is even today regarded as professional asset for the designer. Course contens as follows:
    – research sketch: lines, proportions, orthogonal and perspective views; finding the structural geometry inside complex shapes; basic effects related to materials, lights and shadows; shading in rough sketches.
    – presentation sketch: shading volumes with marker, chalk and mixed techniques; shading; research into materic effects (wood, glass, metal, plastic etc); reflections; presentation techniques
    – digital rendering: graphic design and Photoshop; retouching a hand drawn sketch; creation and application of a texture; backgrounds; presentation boards from sketches to composition.
    The programme requires an elevated daily commitment in terms of individual work. Weekly assignments to exercise graphic abilities will be given by the teacher.

  • Industrial Design Laboratories
    Marco Merendi, Robin Rizzini, Valerio Sommella, Huub Ubbens

    These project-oriented courses taking place during each semester will face complex themes closely related to emerging issues in the current design scene. The workshops are intended to stimulate creative thinking while rounding off sounder professional skills. Activities during each workshop will cover all the phases in the design process, from the concept idea to the final presentation. Students may be organized in pairs or small groups of people to promote mutual learning and facilitate the management of the overall workload. After the launch of the activities all the groups will meet twice a week with the tutors and the class to discuss, revise, constantly develop their work and plan further advancements.
    Particular attention will be given to the effective communication of the project.
    Taking advantage of the tutors’ guidance and class critique activities together with the information and insights offered by partner companies, students will fully develop and present their own proposals in order to provide innovative design solutions consistent with the guidelines in the brief.
    The brief will be announced by the tutors at the beginning of each course or after the preparatory classes.

  • Modelling Laboratory I, I I
    Fabio Dell'Orto

    The purpose of the modelling workshop is delivering the students with the practical abilities needed in order to create three-dimensional study-models or rough mock-up for presentations. During the design process, modelling skills are a basic tool to verify the first ideas or refine them checking the layout of the space, the arrangement of volumes and their proportions, the functional path and the connections between the various spaces. During the workshop, students will be presented a variety of production methodologies (conventional and innovative) and will acquire technical and operational skills to produce their mock-ups independently.
    Note: access to the Workshop is permitted only to students who have passed a safety test, having studied the indications in the Rules and Regulations of the Modelling Workshop.

  • Digital Rendering
    Luca Deriu

    3D Studio Max is the next phase in the creation of 3D objects and environments. With MAX all aspects of creation including solid model making is addressed. In particular students learn to create virtual objects, previously envisioned, giving them form and optical substance and granting them highly photographic visual impact thanks to VRay application. The multimedia features of the programme will also be carefully taken into consideration with reference to the new web technologies: exporting 3D files to various applications such as video editing and virtual reality in the broader sense. The course will cover in particular:
    – interface
    – basic tools
    – 2D (the splines, edit splines)
    – from 2D to 3D (extrusion, revolution, loft)
    – lights
    – Options for rendering
    – VRay
    – Virtual animation
    – Internal web elements (Quick Time VR)
    – External web elements
    Lighting methods are introduced and studied in depth using Vray. Particular emphasis is given to the use of the tool for illuminating objects and interiors, understanding the various nuances, reflections on surfaces etc. Lessons will also be dedicated to a basic introduction of presentation techniques using Adobe softwares such as Photoshop.
    During the course students will be assigned a set of exercises that will be revised during the following lesson.

  • Product Design Workshop
    Hubb Ubbens

    The purpose of the workshop is to identify each and everyone’s design potential and pinpoint their strenghts along with their weaknesses and critical abilities to be improved.
    “3 easy pieces” learning from ikebana: Ikebana is an antique Japanese art of flower harmony, traditionally executed by noble men and samurai which in more recent time has been diffused all over the Japanese culture. Basically ikebana is composed of three elements: a container (vase), a flower(s) and its background (traditionally the tokonoma). Starting from Ikebana as a basic example, the workshop will evolve in a research and realization of a “table piece” (vase, fruit bowl, carafe or an object with no specific function), made of only three elements: a natural element (feather, stone, flower, shell, etc.), a man made object and its presentation (a scenery, small theater, container, light, etc.). The applied methodology consists of concept, selection and composition and the final objective is to create a sculptural object in which harmony, substraction and introspection are main items. It is an exercise with the goal to obtain the maximum personal expression and harmony with a minimum of elements. The work will be individual, done with hand made models and the materials are a free choice. The maximum size is 70x70x70cm.

  • Portfolio Design Workshop
    Claudio Tesei

    The lessons are focused on developing a portfolio and other supports of personal promotion. The workshop is also a reflection into each student’s design identity in terms of philosophies, approaches, visions, aims. Throughout the analysis of different ways to present creative works, each student will carry out the most suitable communication stategy and produce his own tools to boost the presentation of his designs.