Furniture Design – Spring Semester

Semester Courses - Florence

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The Spring semester in Furniture design offers an insight in the Italian furnishing design culture, with a direct perspective on the manufacturing and design management process within the product supply chain. 

The course offers an overview on the main case histories and analyzes the cultural, morphological and technical factors that generated the success of the Italian furniture design, highlighting the key quality factors in manufacturing. 

Under the guidance of our professional teachers you experiment with ideation, learn how to take your concepts forward and acquire the practical and technical skills to test, model and present your designs professionally.


  • Start date
    March 2020
  • Duration
    17 weeks
  • Attendance
  • Language

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

Target: 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 Design. 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.

Structure and methodology: This education path includes a strategical combination of theoretical lectures and lab activities through team projects under the guidance of professionals of the industry.

The programme develops theoretical and practical knowledge of domestic and living spaces, focusing on technological tools, production processes and materials. A proper understanding of the company values, according to the contemporary market, is required.

Further to a research on the Italian design experience, new trends in terms of materials and forms, as well as on the technological innovation, you will focus on innovative materials which will be used to design furniture pieces as well as interior coating. As second project you will design furnishing objects for in living
or commercial spaces.

During this Semester you have the chance to visit the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, which is the most keenly awaited event in the world of furniture.

  • Study Plan

    • Modelling Techniques_2

      This advanced course supports the project design courses, for which a thorough knowledge of materials and how to use them carefully from a sustainable point of view is essential. It provides fundamentals of physical-mechanical properties and possible applications of some innovative materials, gathering technological knowledge with craftsmanship practices. The laboratorial nature of the course allows direct learning. 

    • Design 2

      The course  focuses on furniture and on the study of the related products’ supply chain. The main subject is the designing of a product including design trends. , research on shapes materials.The project starts from the analysis of the emotional and functional values of products and of the different interiors users-scenarios. 

      Then, the students will present the concept of the project and related technical drawings of the product details. The technological focus on furniture proposal will aim at making the design feasible for the furniture supply-chain. 

    • Product Design

      The course explores the world of furniture design. Starting from a research on the interior design concepts and analyzing people’s needs and behaviours of living the space, students deepen the concept of design the furnishing object and all those products necessary to set up and live any space. The product design project project involves the design of a collection of furnishing objects, functional to the indoor development of living or commercial spaces. The students create a prototype of the furniture collection, using technologies related to the furniture supply-chain.

    • 3D computer Model – making Techniques – Rhinoceros

      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 students explore rendering and animation to create, view and assess 3D spaces with texturing and lighting techniques.

    • 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 products, students explore the compositional, formal and expressive features of projects and designers in recent years.

    • Design Management

      The course deals with the concept of design and brand values, as the most important elements in the communication strategy of a company, in relation to the ones actually perceived by the market.
      It focuses on consumers and on their approach to objects and spaces considering design and brand experience as key elements in the positioning process of brands and products.

      The programme also explores the contemporary design scenario and its increasing number of start-ups and spin-offs as new business incubators. In addition the course explores on the relations in between the design strategie and the sypply chian matters, focusing on subjects as time to market according to production quality, integration between traditional craftsmanship and machines, emerging markets and design directions.


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.

Elvira Muntoni

Elvira Muntoni
Graduated in Architecture from the Faculty of Architecture in Florence. She has been working with architectural firms in Barcelona, Brussels and Florence, and in New York with the artist Tom Sachs. Since 2013 she collaborates with an international interior design firm in Florence. Besides her activity as Architect, she moves among different disciplines such as graphic design, illustration and art.  

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.

Giona Scarselli

Giona Scarselli
Architect. In 2013 he co-founded e-ggs studio, that deals with architecture, interior, and product design. Over the years, the studio has received several national and international awards such as the Archiproduct Design Award (best of category 2016), the Red Dot Award (winner 2017), the German Design Award (winner 2017), the IF Product Design Award (winner 2017).

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.

Andrea Sicuro

Andrea Sicuro
He graduated in Architecture. his main activities are interior and fashion design. As Co-founder of the knitwear fashion brand Patafisic, he gained experience as Fashion Designer and the technical aspects related to production and distribution. He deals with interior design, design of furniture on commission and research and purchase pieces of furniture and decoration. He collaborates with Flair Home Collection and with the Firma Prima Design in Florence. He has taught Fashion Design at the University of Florence and at international fashion schools.