Scuola Politecnica di Design

About SPD

There are many things still to be invented or simply devised in new ways. Design is what makes ideas possible and has the power to envision solutions for the future, from everyday objects to the most complex intangible systems.


Creativity is a daily task at SPD. Since its foundation in 1954 it has welcomed an extraordinary community of students from various countries and backgrounds. Everyone has an unequalled opportunity: they work side by side with excellent professionals, engage in dialogue with a number of academic partners and swap experiences with young talents from all over the world. All of this takes place in Milan, a city with an incredibly close-to-hand and accessible heritage made up of architecture and design, production and business, communication and art.


At SPD every student is followed individually by a faculty made up of designers, professionals from various fields and visiting tutors. Patricia Urquiola, Denis Santachiara, Ross Lovegrove and Chris Bangle among others have been lecturing at SPD. Teaching is arranged into intensive workshops, studio classes, theoretical lectures, seminars and visits. Research work carried out in collaboration with leading companies such as Volkswagen, Beiersdorf, Poltrona Frau Group, Microsoft, Heineken, Alfa Romeo, Alias is a crucial experience at SPD. These projects are developed according to a comprehensive approach which is a testing ground for the student’s skills, from the concept idea to its execution. The result of this work is translated into high quality education with a professional orientation.


After successful completion of the Master program, eligible students can earn first level University Master degrees accredited by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Reseach MIUR and corresponding to 60 ECTS credits. In 2011 SPD and the Milan based IULM University signed a long-term strategic agreement aimed at sharing their expertise and a rich relationship network among institutions and entrepreneurial partners. The association is also intended to promote educational programmes at University level and enables students to matriculate jointly at SPD and at IULM University. Click here to ask information or to start the admission procedure. The school also boasts affiliations to the most important organizations in the field such as ADI (Italy’s Industrial Design Association), AIAP (Italian Graphic designers’ Association), and ASFOR (Italian association for management development). It is a member of the Cumulus network that brings together the most prestigious design academies worldwide.

Studying at SPD means plunging yourself into a living, dynamic and international environment where foreign students make up to 70% of the total student population and cultural differences are highly valued.


SPD’s offer of postgraduate education consists of specialist Master degrees lasting 15 months from six different departments: Industrial Design, Interior Design, Transportation and Car Design, Visual Design, Web and Digital Design, Food Design.
The catalogue of full time annual programmes also includes One-Year Courses in Product, Visual Design or Car Design Tools addressed to candidates with an academic background that is not relevant to the selected area of further studies. One-Year Courses provide a balanced combination of project-based training, theoretical and operational teaching. They can also be intended as a foundation to the Masters.
The school offer of advanced education is completed with intensive workshops, summer courses and technical training. Every year SPD organises a dense calendar of lectures given by international speakers. Participation is open to the general public.


The project-based approach applied at SPD promotes cooperative learning and encourages students to get in touch with professionals and companies. Throughout the year they are engaged in different projects – either intensive one-week workshops or studio experiences lasting the whole semester – allowing them to acquire a global vision of the profession, round off their design thinking and build solid skills. Each student is reviewed by the tutors at least on a weekly base to allow a constant improvement of the proposals. Class critique is also encouraged to build stronger awareness of the pros and cons of each design. The close collaboration with professionals, brands and institutions enables the students to get ready for the relationship with the client.


Both Master and OneYear courses offered at SPD  have limited places. Admission is based on the assessment of the portfolio and relevant background and on a motivational interview with the candidate. Courses begin in late October and finish by December of the following year (by July for OneYear courses only). Classes are held in English. Attendance is compulsory. The programmes demand full-time commitment including regular coursework, individual and group study as well as the internship or the preparation of the final project for the Masters’. Scholarships and tuition waivers are also offered in association with academic partners and are available for high potential candidates.


The Academic Office is available for information on entry and enrolment procedures. In order to facilitate international applicants, the admission and enrolment process can be conducted on-line and the personal interviews can be taken at distance and via Skype. The school staff provides foreign students with help in obtaining visas and health coverage and accommodation. For more information or for starting the admission procedure click here