Italian Interior and Furniture Design Academic Year

One Year Courses - Florence

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Interior Design is more than just aesthetics. It's about finding creative design solutions for interior environments while supporting the health, safety and well being of occupants and enhancing their quality of life.

Following a systematic and coordinated methodology including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, interior design is a multi-faceted profession whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to create an interior space that fulfils the project goals.

The Academic Year in Interior and Furniture Design trains Designer specialised in furniture able both to create and manage the whole design process of a project focused on space organisation and interior decoration. The education path works on shaping the individual’s design sensitivity, the construction of a personal expressive language, the acquisition of a multidisciplinary culture that combines theoretical and practical aspects.

  • Start date
    September 2019
  • Duration
    36 weeks
  • Attendance
  • Language

Schedule:  Lessons run from Monday to Friday morning and/or afternoon. 

Level and prerequisites:  This is an intermediate program designed for students with at least one year of academic background or professional experience in Interior Design, Industrial Design, Furniture Design, Architecture. Applicants have to master representation techniques such as drawing, sketching and rendering, and visual communication skills such as computer graphics and rendering, as well as model making and verbal communication.

Methodology and structure: The Academic Year is integrated in the 3 year Interior and Furniture Design course, and corresponds to the 2nd year of the undergraduate program. By enrolling to Academic Year you join the regular classes and study alongside with IED undergraduate students.

The program is made up by 2 semesters, through which you refine cultural, methodological, technical and technological skills previously acquired. Furthermore you will examine new areas of investigation and knowledge, in order to complete and extend your familiarity with the interior and furniture design field. The programme develops theoretical and practical knowledge of domestic and commercial spaces, focusing on technological tools, production processes and materials.

Throughout the course you develop three different projects: a first one that will consist in the development of a commercial space, with a focus on restaurant design; a second one that deals with innovative materials to be applied both for the design of interior spaces as well as furniture pieces; and finally the third one that tackles the production of a furnishing product, from its components to its assembly, learning about the disposal processes as well.  

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    • Materials Typology 2

      This course introduces studies related to new technologies and their applications in the fields of the construction industry and of design, building on your analytical skills and understanding of materials and of structures, including habitats, in the framework of a project and referring coherently to all the latest legal regulations and the results of research in this sector. It examines the physical and mechanical properties of several families of materials in relation to the
      technologies that can be used to work with them and to related risks and advantages. In particular, the course discusses the relationship between design and a material’s energy and environmental qualities, including its construction and structural properties. Theoretical and practical studies are co-ordinated, so as to encourage you to become more aware of innovative technical methods in line with the international and domestic Italian contexts. Through an active dialogue with firms that produce certain materials, you analyse the materials’ individual properties and potential for application, both for the category of traditional and for that of natural or ecological materials.


    • Drawing Techniques and Technologies

      Through this course you will acquire the techniques of representation by software and hand drawings. The teaching method, through theoretical lectures demonstrations , is organized into two main parts: the basic knowledge of the instruments of representation and professional application of them. The course deals with the issues of visual thinking and uses visual and conceptual maps as an essential tool for the storytelling and the expression of an idea . Use of the software alternates with exercises in which you learn to use the acquired technical and instrumental knowledge and to communicate through an effective presentation your project.


    • History of Contemporary Architecture 1

      The history of architecture is analysed from the point of view of project methodologies and the technological and social contexts. The course explores the heritage of the Modern Movement and its expression in various geographical contexts, both European and international. Through the analysis of buildings, projects and documents, the characteristics of the architecture of the last fifty years are outlined.


    • Modeling Techniques 2

      This theme is fundamental for the project design courses, for which a thorough knowledge of materials and their sustainable use is essential. The course provides basic knowledge about certain innovative materials and opportunities for making use of them, combining technological knowledge with the culture of craftsmanship. You will tackle the materials used for architectural elements, for finishing flooring, walls and ceilings, for architectural details and for décor. This material research serves to create a personal style and to develop a sensitivity of juxtaposition of materials. The practical part of the course is constituted by a simulated application on the project model.

    • Design 2

      The aim of this course is to stimulate your abilities to imagine new spaces and and new interior scenarios, so as to develop projects on a large scale and with more complex service, flows and regulations. Together with your peers you will develop 2 design projects: a first one  that will consist in the development of a commercial space, with a focus on restaurant design, and a second one that deals with innovative materials to be applied both for the design of interior spaces and furniture pieces. You are expected to rigorously analyse people’s behaviour, habits and customs, and other functions that determine space organization. Moreover, you will analyse the context in which the project is developed, the brand’s values, and current trends in order to conceive both emotional and functional spaces, which may enrich and simplify people’s life.

    • Product Design

      The course provides the key elements for a correct furniture design and the technical and technological skills related to the production of a furnishing product, from its components to its assembly. You will learn about the furniture disposal process which will raise awarness for a more sustainable furnishing design. Also you will acquire knowledge on new trends in terms of materials, colours and forms, which will be applied while designing the furnishing elements.

    • 3D Computer Model – Making Techniques

      The course focuses on digital image processing in a 3D context. The first part analyses 3D surface modeling software, automatic generation of perspectives, views and sections, shadows, surface texturing and rendering. In the second part you explore rendering and animation to create, view and assess 3D spaces with texturing and lighting techniques.

    • Sociology of Culture

      Sociology, as the science of social phenomena, represents one of the most effective tools to understand people behaviors. Hence, it is one of the most valid instruments to study the development of cultures, ethical and social values and lifestyles. The course also explains the techniques and the tools to understand dynamics of social interaction.

    • Design Management

      The course tackles the concept of brand value, which constitutes the main issue when defining the values that a business wants to communicate to its market – and the values that the market actually perceives. Next, it analyses the new generation of consumers and their attitudes to objects and to space, from a standpoint of marketing experience, which today is the primary lever to pull when positioning brands and products. The course then discusses the strategic aspect of marketing, so as to understand and anticipate consumers’ expectations. Students examine several case histories of successful and unsuccessful products, so as to highlight the importance of the nexus between design, marketing, the firm and its market.

    • History of Design 2

      Objective of the course is the development of a personal architectural language. It analyzes the application of different design languages in different geographical contexts, in order to provide an historical and critical knowledge of formal archetypes and main exponents. Through the analysis of architectures and furnitures, you explore the compositional, formal and expressive features of projects and designers in recent years.

Remarkable is that teacher who accomplishes himself what he teaches to others.
(Italian proverb)

IED faculty are professionals that daily face the market. Here you can read their bios.

Javier Deferrari - Course Coordinator

Javier Deferrari - Course Coordinator
He studied Architecture at the University of Buenos Aires. In 2002, after moving to Milan, he  graduated from Politecnico. Following an experience in South Africa, in 2006 he moved to Milan and in 2008, he joined Stefano Boeri’s office, which led to his involvement in the redevelopment project for La Maddalena’s Ex Arsenale Militare. In 2010, together with Lavinia Modesti, he founded DEFERRARI+MODESTI, a multidisciplinary office based in Florence. Their research covers several fields, from interior design to product design and communication, encompassing every phase of the design process down to the meticulous study of each architectural detail.

Lavinia Modesti - Course Coordinator

Lavinia Modesti - Course Coordinator
She graduated in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture in Florence. Her final project on foldable chairs included Enzo Mari as external mentor. She started her professional career as assistant to Enzo Mari, collaborating on furniture elements and artistic reproductions. Her professional experience continued in Barcelona at Actar-Arquitectura and then in Milan at Boeri Studio. In 2010, together with Javier Deferrari, she founded DEFERRARI+MODESTI, a multidisciplinary office based in Florence. Their research covers several fields, from interior design to product design and communication, encompassing every phase of the design process down to the meticulous study of each architectural detail.

Alberto Morselli

Alberto Morselli
He graduated in Architecture in 2001. He worked in Rome, London and Genoa, collaborating with Rogers Stirk Harbors + Partners and Renzo Piano Building Workshop. Since 2011, he has been working as a freelance Designer in Florence in the fields of interior design, architecture and virtual reality.

Michela Tonelli

Michela Tonelli
Graduated in Architecture, in 2014 she founded MTSYS, a studio based in Florence that deals with project communication in the architectural field. Didactics and teaching are integrated activities of the studio. From 2017 he is official Trainer V-RayforC4D.

Francesca Sorgato

Francesca Sorgato
Professor of Interior Design and Fashion Theory. Graduated in Architecture, she collaborated for some years with the Arabeschi di Latte collective in the production of events and installations. In 2009 she moved to London where she began teaching and obtained the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice at Manchester Metropolitan University. She carries on the research also deepening the sociological and semiological aspects related to creativity.

Francesco Scanu

Francesco Scanu
Francesco Scanu is an Architect specialized in retail architecture and visual branding. He is Managing Partner at Area-17 Architecture and Interiors, an international architectural firm operating in Europe and Asia, where he currently leads the retail design and graphic design departments. Francesco received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Florence and he is a Registered Architect in Italy. He taught Visual Design at the B.Sc. Degree in Industrial Design at the University of Florence from 2004 to 2010 and has frequently been invited to give speeches on retail design issues at public and private institutions. He currently teaches Design II at IED Florence.

Filippo Garofalo

Filippo Garofalo
For more than 15 years he's been working in the field of 3D Modeling, industrial and interior design. ART (Authorized Rhinoceros Trainer), since 2008, he is specialized in the design of industrial products, architectural and jewelry products. Expert in 3D printing and milling, from this year is Vray Certified Instructor for Vray for Rhino.

Cosimo Balestri

Cosimo Balestri
Architect, in 2013 graduates at the University of Florence with a thesis entitled One city: Piana Metropolitana. His main involvement is now the study of urban dynamics through the activity of ECÒL, architecture office and research platform of which he’s partner and the cultural association [chì-na], both based in the Macrolotto 0, Prato. He’s also interested in graphics and web, as a quick response to his need to translate systems into visual entities.