Product Design

One Year course

Length of the course 10 months

Start October 2017

The OneYear course in Product Design is taught following a single theme approach with cycles of lessons on theory integrated with workshop exercises and subjects. In this way students can acquire the solid cultural, methodological and operative foundations and can opt to pursue their education further by applying for following a Master’s course in Industrial Design or Interior Design.

Characteristics and aims

The OneYear Course is aimed at providing basic training for product and interior designers. This aim is achieved through a well balanced teaching programme that solidifies the necessary methodological tools for approaching a project. Topics covered in the course are included in the study plan so as to consolidate historical and cultural backgrounds and provide a conceptual framework to refer to. This includes portrayal techniques, theory and the physiology of perceived phenomena. General training, on the other hand, aims to provide the mastery of technical and technological instruments, the understanding of operative supports, and the vocabulary of product design and product systems design. Lessons are directly relevant to the requirements and skills needed for the Master’s year, which is the ideal continuation of this course.


The OneYear Course lasts for one academic year  from October to July. Attendance is compulsory and full-time commitment is required including the participation to lessons, class exercises, visits and the individual study.

Professional openings

Allows admission to:
Master’s course in Industrial Design
Master’s course in Interior Design

Programmes and teaching staff to be updated


  • Technology Of Materials
    Matteo Bravi

    A designer is continually expected to come up with the most suitable form for a product to fulfil a particular function, a form that is achieved by modelling a material or a mixture of materials using appropriate technologies. This implies that a designer also has to choose, from a variety of raw materials, the material that for a whole series of factors is best suited to being modelled, cut, joined and refined so as to produce the best possible piece of work. It is therefore indispensable, as far as materials are concerned, to understand their particular characteristics, the technologies suitable for working with them and other phenomena relevant both to their production cycle and life cycle. The program offers a complete view of the principal categories of materials.
    – Materials trough history
    – Materials, technology and Industrial Design
    – Structural materials: definition and classification
    – Fundamentals regarding the structures of materials
    – Ferrous and non-ferrous metals and dusty metallurgy: general properties and characteristics
    – Characterization of principal physical, mechanical and chemical properties of the metals
    – Metal processing: moulding, cutting, joining and finishing
    – Breaking materials
    – How to give metals resistance
    – Steel; cast iron; copper, aluminium, titanium and magnesium alloys: their properties and applications
    Innovative ceramic materials
    – Traditional ceramics vs innovative ceramincs
    – Properties , processes, types and applications
    – Principal types, references to working processes and treatments
    – Natural wood: technological properties and qualification criteria, main areas of use
    – Semi-manufactured products in natural wood: general particulars, types, application characteristics
    – Wood-based semi-manufactured products and panels: general particulars, types, application characteristics
    – Wood-based semi-manufactured products and special panels: general particulars, types, application characteristics
    Plastic materials
    -Types, processing, characteristics

  • Interior Design Foundations
    Giuseppe Morando

    The course starts from the basis of interior design considered both as a methodology and as a process and carries out increasingly complex projects focused on a variety of themes that range from domestic environments to selected areas or functions into wider settings.
    The goal here is to enable students to face design issues, phases and techniques related to development of interiors. The crucial need for a sound methodology in the design practice will be addressed in a relevant way by analyzing the main components of every project: sign, functions, perceptions, colours and patterns, technologies, ergonomics.
    The programme develops through a blend of theoretical lectures and practical exercises. Individually or in small groups, students will have to carry out the assigned tasks and tackle the different phases in the design process: research, concept, mood and layout, colour and trim, furniture, final presentation.
    Attendance to this course demands a relevant commitment in terms of weekly deliveries, research and overall workload.

  • Computer Design I, I I
    Erasmo Ciufo

    The aim is learning the tools and basic dynamics of graphic design through the use of technological equipments and applications such as the Adobe softwares.
    Photoshop and Illustrator are the leading programmes for dealing with bitmap and vectorial images and are extensively used by web designers, illustrators, photographers, graphic designers in publishing and multimedia.
    The integration of these programs enables an enormous number of creative developments, as long as their features are thoroughly understood and their purpose is clear and consistent with the overall design approach. During the one-year course students will deepen the necessary information to gain a professional control of their functions.
    The course’s methodological approach emphasises content. Exercises focus on the analysis of graphic elements: exercises in formal composition (configuration) and study of the nature and design applications of colours deriving from theoretical experiences of the psychology of perception and colour theory.
    As mentioned, the course is closely tied to the teaching of photography: the images created are actually transferred into digital format and developed further to be incorporated into the projects carried out in this course. Main topics the programme deals with:
    – Bitmap and vectorial images. Image resolution and size.
    – Channels: in the mazes of bitmap methods, greyscale, Lab, RGB and CMYK.
    – Adjustment for colour and luminosity using levels, curves, tonality/saturation, channel mixer functions…
    – Layers: blending modes and tonal adjustments
    – Selection methods and tools: integration between specific tools in order to define complex selections, cutouts and masks. Working with paths; clipping paths. Masks: layer mask, selection mask. Working with text
    – Retouching tools (but not only): clone stamp, erase tool, brushes history
    – Layers styles
    – Correction filters, editing, creative processing
    – Saving formats for the integration of different softwares and optimization of images for printing, web and mobile device.
    – Illustration exercises, retouching, image processing aimed at printing, web and mobile

    – Vectorial objects. Selection tools and methods
    – Drawing in vectorial graphics: working with primitives, using the Bezier curves
    – Working with colour: filling objects and strokes. Compound path: groups, unifying objects, blends
    – Controlling the text options and settings typography specification in accordance with the project
    – Integration of the functions related to the creation of illustrations
    – Integration of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign
    Introduction to InDesign

  • Form And Colour Laboratory
    Massimo Caiazzo, Narciso Silvestrini

    The course has the structure of a laboratory where students study and realize bi/tridimensional models of shapes, objects and systems related to color design issues. List of the contents as follows:
    – Colour is not a transcultural truth
    – Colour has a history
    – Basic terminology
    – Chromatic syntheses: additive, subtractive, optical
    – From the triangle of colours, to the hexagon, to the cube
    – Fractal generation of the chromatic polygon
    – Marginal colours (Goethe)
    – The RGB_CMY cube: vertices (point), edges (line), faces (surfaces), volume (space)
    – The double tetrahedron of colours: a model of material states: gaseous, liquid, solid
    – The octahedron and its development: “6” vertices, “6” points of view, “6” tetrachromatic combinations
    – Chromatic conjugations according to the Islamic chromatic system
    – Chromatic conjugations according to R. Arnheim’s colour triangle
    – Chromatic interpretation of Buckminster Fuller’s spatial triangle: 1 + 1 = 4
    – Chromatic conjugations: the system of possible permutations between three data elements
    – Margin type and related perceptive inductions
    – Phenomenal transparency: the four conditions
    – Transparency and spatiality
    – The three modes of colour appearance: volume, surface, film

  • Product Design Laboratory
    Giovanna Castiglioni, Marco Marzini, Valerio Sommella

    The course that is structured in two semesters, offers basic training to acquire the necessary skills and take the first steps into the design practice. Activities taking place during the first term aim at defining the domain of design together with a common operational methodology, to be enhanced by means of a number of exercises of increasing complexity. Thanks to both a theoretical and a practical methodology promoting experimentation and confrontation with different design philosophies, students are offered the chance to consciously choose a peculiar methodology that could be applied to product and interior design. At a theoretical level, the most important emphasis is on the projects of the greatest designers and interior architects boasting strong emotional qualities. During the second term attention will be drawn on product design. On the basis of this open and experimental approach, the course will combine different disciplines such as analysis and morphology of design, the study of materials, colours and perceptive values, usability principles. Communication techniques will be dealt with through the constant assessment of projects. The programme requires a strong commitment from students that are asked to carry out complete designs thanks to a daily practice and in accordance with all the sujects in the plan of studies.

  • Sketching
    Claudio Fassini

    Free hand drawing is the first technique to represent ideas. The aim of this course is enabling students to finalize thier creativity in order to communicate in a clear and fast way with all the professionals involved in the design process. Particular attention will be devoted to the analysis and application of the fundamental rules for free hand drawing: perspective, proportions, colouring techniques basics.
    The course teaches the basic techniques to draw free hand, introducing particularly useful details in order to help communicate designs well. Each class will be articulated in three main moments:
    – assessment of the tasks developed independently over the week
    – introduction to new topics through the use of demos, case studies and exercises to carry out during the class
    – explanations of new tasks to deliver for the next class
    Content of the course as follows:
    – basic rules and tools
    – hand-eye coordination
    – basic geometric shapes
    – axonometry and representation of solids
    – shadowing techniques to improve the tridimensional effect of an object
    – rilief from a photographic image of an object
    – intuitive perspective: basic rules, usage
    – composition of solids
    – cuts and sections
    – copy from life
    – rendering techniques using Letraset paper, coloured pencils, markers, chalks
    – artistic vs geometric representation
    – shadow theory
    – human body and objects
    – fast drawing techniques

  • History Of Design
    Barbara Camocini

    The fundamental stages of ‘modernity’ are addressed in logical and chronological order but not in a comprehensive way. The distinctive character of Modernity are reassessed starting from a general overview on main themes accompanied by specific focuses (monographic lectures) on authors, movements etc.
    A critical attitude will be promoted in order to achieve a better understanding of the aesthetic and functional issues – deriving from the debate on modern architecture and Rationalism in particular – related to the general notion of “industrial product” which was adopted around 1850. Themes dealt with:
    – statement and definitions of design: History and evolution?
    – a unifying concept of design and the origin of Industrial Design in relation to Architecture
    – Italy and design: domain and genuine inspirations
    – Origins and historical development: from its meaning to contemporary experiences
    – magazines, institutions, awards, exhibitions.
    – Exhibit Design
    – Decoration and early rationalism, the types of reference, historical origins and relevance to the present
    – Vitalism and anti-rationalistic movements
    – The Bauhaus and the epistemological foundation of “Design” and “design profession”
    – From Functionalism to Organic Design
    – The second postwar period in Italy, Europe, USA: economic growth and production
    – Crisis and emerging anti-design issues: utopies and Radical movements
    – A new return-to-order: Postmodern
    – Contemporary trends
    Note: a concise bibliography for self-study will be assigned in addition to the presentation supports and documentation prepared by the tutor.

  • Technical / Geometrical Drawing
    Paride Piccinini

    Geometric design is the language through which an idea, a design is objectified in its real dimensions. The aim of the course is to make understood the “grammar” of this partucular way of communication. A scientific reference point is projective geometry which allows the graphical description of objects even of considerable complexity in a clear, unequivocal and universal way. The course takes place with theoretical lessons alongside practical tests with appropriate exercises, dealing with the following topics:
    – Project design in its correlation with perception and geometry, its historical evolution, the specific tools.
    – International unification and standardisation in executive design with reference to signs, scales, support formats, conventional symbology, dimensioning.
    – Study of the representation of flat figures: from the point to the line, from the angle to the polygon, from curvilinear figures to notable curves and curves in space.
    – Study of the representation of elementary solids (such as prisms, pyramids, regular polyhedrons, sphere and derivatives), sections and interpenetrations between them and their development on the level.
    – Study of the representation of three-dimensional figures through the systems of parallel and central projection. In specific, for the former, analysis of the orthogonal and the axonometric projections; for the latter, both the central and casual perspectives. Orthogonal projections are at the basis of technical design and the development of any design and so will be widely dealth with. The axonometry, permitting the three-dimensional visualization, will be applied in some plates of interior and product design. Perspective will be applied to perpendicular plans as well as to inclineted plants to the point of view; moreover we will inquire some peculiarity such as the perspectical return and anamorphosis.
    The programme requires an elevated daily commitment in terms of individual work. Weekly assignments to exercise graphic abilities will be given by the teacher.

  • Photography Workshop
    Sabine Schweigert

    Using digital instruments the workshop is devised in order to allow creative and technical autonomy and to support design practice.
    – Preparatory stage
    Tools and instruments: camera typologies: pinhole, or stenopeic cameras, small, medium-sized and large formats with particular reference to the 35mm reflex camera.
    Lenses: image formation, focal length, f-numbers; diaphragm / shutter, focus, hyperfocal distance and depth of field.
    Films: structure, sensitivity, types and instructions for use. Evaluating, selecting and using the right film; special films.
    Lighting: the nature of light and light effects, definition of colour temperature.
    Natural light, continuous artificial light and flash; lighting set-ups and characteristics.
    Digital photography: typological characteristics of tools and instruments for lighting. The digital image and digital enhancement.
    – Operational stage
    The photographic studio. Instrument and characteristics.
    Manual and through-the-lens (TTL) exposure meters; area exposure; calculating correct exposure and effects of over/underexposure. Analysis of the photographic subject and image construction through specific use of different lighting typologies; soft lighting, hard lighting, back lighting, mixed lighting.
    The artistic portrait; analysis of subject and lighting set-ups.
    Still life; photographing opaque, reflective and transparent materials; artistic composition with scenery and use of artificial light.
    The camera and instrument characteristics.
    Black and white developing and printing techniques. The enlarger; cutting and deformation effects. Masking. Techniques and artistic effects of image enhancement using dedicated chemical materials.
    – Design stage
    From image composition to image enhancement, integrated with the graphic design course.