Discover New Master’s Programs in Designing Digital Cultures and Communication Design


The new Master’s program, in partnership with 2050+, will complement the Communication Design program, preparing students for careers in the digital technology realm. An interdisciplinary team of professors will guide students in learning the latest audiovisual production techniques using immersive technologies and artificial intelligence.

Milan, January 2024 – SPD Scuola Politecnica di Design, the first design school in Italy within the Plena Education group, announces the addition of two new Master of Arts programs to its educational offerings: Designing Digital Cultures in collaboration with the interdisciplinary studio 2050+, and Communication Design led by Emanuele Viora, Executive Creative Director of ACNE. The courses will begin in January 2025 and will be accredited by Teesside University (UK).

Designing Digital Cultures

This new Master aims to facilitate a dialogue between digital technologies and the spaces they shape, as cultural artifacts deeply embedded in everyday life. Going beyond traditional design education, Designing Digital Cultures not only imparts practical skills but also nurtures a critical, analytical, and speculative approach to research and design. The program maintains a continuous exchange between digital design and its technical manifestations, exploring social, political, and environmental implications. The Designing Digital Cultures Master serves as a catalyst for careers in creative professions, equipping graduates with diverse skills, particularly in animation, visual arts, cinema, set design, game design, media distribution, and production.

The program features a diverse and interdisciplinary team of professors led by 2050+, including Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli, Erica Petrillo, and Kamil Dalkir. 2050+ is an interdisciplinary agency working at the intersection of technology, environment, politics, and design. Since its inception, 2050+ has undertaken various projects encompassing curatorial and research practices, exhibition design, and architecture. The agency regularly collaborates with fashion brands, creating temporary installations, films, public events, and editorial initiatives. Simultaneously, the agency is engaged in various independent research projects, including the creation of short films and critical texts appearing on numerous editorial platforms, often focusing on the relationship between data and the material world.

Module leaders include video artist and director Davide Rapp, founder of the -orama studio for the Immersive Technologies module; visual artist and independent researcher Francesco D’Abbraccio (aka Lorem) for AI and Creative Coding; and the duo Claudia Molinari and Matteo Pozzi from the indie video game development agency We Are Müesli, leading the Digital World Building module.

The course revolves around four key areas: Immersive Technologies, exploring applications of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality in various sectors; Digital World Building, using Game Engines as speculative tools to shape and explore digital realities; AI and Creative Coding, teaching how to design algorithmic architectures to facilitate human-machine creativity; and Critical Practice, aiming to develop research skills with a focus on ethics, historical accuracy, critical analysis, narratology, and providing the necessary skills for independent research and practical application.

Communication Design

The two-year Master’s program in Communication Design is structured to allow students to understand the underlying logic of creative, communicative, and marketing processes in the first semester, inspired by the motto “Think now, design later.” The second semester involves collaborations with leading market companies in Italy, allowing students to experience working in various sectors and face real briefs under the guidance of industry professionals, helping them build a personal portfolio for future job applications. The distinctive feature of the Master is its seven specific focuses dedicated to key industries in the current landscape (Fashion, Food, Automotive, Consumer Goods, TLC, non-profit, and the public sector) carried out in the latter part of the course. This immersive approach enables students to not only understand their passion but also discover where their talent can truly make a difference.

The new course leader for the Master in Communication Design is Emanuele Viora, responsible for conceptualizing, developing, and consolidating the master’s concept, coordinating the module leaders he personally selected. As the current Executive Creative Director for the communication agency ACNE, Emanuele Viora brings over 20 years of experience as a guide and reference for talents aspiring to succeed in communication, marketing, and creativity. He has worked with influential companies such as Armando Testa, Leo Burnett, DLV BBDO, and Publicis, winning dozens of national and international awards and leading successful projects for both Italian and international brands.

Emanuele Viora will be joined by Samanta Giuliani, entrepreneur and strategist; Michelangelo Cianciosi, Executive Creative Director with extensive experience in the field; Fabrizio Marvulli, Client Service Director; and Paolo Ferrara, General Manager of Terre des Hommes.

In both courses, the Advanced Practice module in the first semester of the second year will provide students with internship opportunities, project work on company briefs, or a period of study abroad. The Master’s programs culminate in the Major Project in the second semester of the second year, where students can develop a research project, potentially in collaboration with one of the companies encountered during the course.

Credits: Disclosers PR Agency