Introduction to Design - Spring Semester

Semester Courses - Florence

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Interior design is the practice of space planning and designing interior spaces in homes and buildings. It involves creating floor plans, furniture layouts, and designing the look and feel of a space. Interior design also includes the specification of furniture, fixtures, and finishes, and coordinating their installation.
Through the Spring Semester Introduction to Design you experience the design methodology, learning to design interior spaces for residential use, starting from the analysis of domestic spaces and development of initial concept, to the 2D view and up to the realization of models so to define the idea and check its validity.


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

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

Level and prerequisites:  This course is ideal for beginners with a serious interest on the subject. Students directly out of highschool, or mature students who are ready for a career change. 

Methodology and structure: This course will ground you in the basics of interior design. During your study you will explore materials, finishes, spatial planning and construction techniques for a range of residential projects, so to creatively present your work using the latest industry software including AutoCAD 2D, Photoshop and Illustrator. 

The 17 teaching weeks that include a strategic combination of theoretical lessons, case studies and workshop with industry professionals allow you to gain a solid foundation in the theoretical aspects of design, and through valuable hands-on projects you will also gain practical knowledge. These training activities allow you to become familiar with the basic technical equipment as well as to acquire an adequate design methodology and a solid cultural preparation

While working on your final project, you experience the phases of the design methodology taking in consideration the economic and production features.

For each single subject you take a final exam and by the end of the program you present your final work so to demonstrate the knowledge and skills achived.

  • Study Plan

    • History of Design 1

      The study of the history of design conventionally starts from the late 19th century, when the social, technological and industrial factors allow series production. The course analyses the main Italian and international movements in design culture, synthetizing the evolution of typological and formal archetypes and the advancements of building techniques and functionality.
      Students learn the historic development of Western architecture, from the Industrial Revolution to contemporary scenario, and focus on project philosophy of the main representatives of Modern Movement, analysing the most important works that marked the history of design.


    • Technical Drawing: Autocad 2D

      This course allows you to develop basic technical drawing abilities as well as 2D design skills. The course then goes on to study the illustration of the building blocks: the foundations, the masonry and the floors and the graphic techniques used for interior finishes, components, decorations and technical accessories. You learn to use software programs that allow you to carry out 2D projects of objects and architectures, in order to check their dimensions and composition, before drawing up the project and producing the technical drawings in UNI format to be delivered to the customer.


    • Modeling Techniques 1

      The course provides theoretical and practical tools to create visual and expressive models, using the most suitable materials according to the design scale and to the specific features of the project. The 3D view allows you to define the idea and check its validity, respecting physical laws and techniques. Through laboratories you build models with simple materials that enable quick corrections. A proper knowledge of the tools and an accurate attention to details allows the development of refined models for the project presentation to the customer. 


    • Materials Typology 1

      This course focuses on analysing how materials behave: knowledge of crucial importance for translating an idea into a creation and making the best use of the expressive potential of the various materials, both traditional and experimental. The course tackles this topic from two related standpoints: one technical and scientific, the other focused on the history of technology. Theoretical lessons are intended to examining materials’ physical and morphological properties, as well as verifying the technologies used to transform them, and the industrial and craft processes used to work with them. The course tackles all the components of a building’s structure, studying all the natural and artificial materials used in defining an interior, with a special focus on their appearance and technical performance. Attention is then paid to designing a domestic bathroom and all the related hardware fittings.

    • Graphic Design: Photoshop and Illustrator

      The course teaches the graphic software, Photoshop and Illustrator, as main tool to represent and communicate a project. The program introduces you to the fundamentals of the digital world and provides the essential knowledge and basic notions about graphic design and image processing.

      Graphic composition facilitates the expression of an idea and allows creating the right relation between digital tools and visual perception; in addition, graphic design facilitates the development of concepts, the two-dimensional image management and the editing of contents.


    • Introduction to Marketing

      This course looks at the role played by marketing in defining product strategy and its relationship with design. It develops the concept of market, which is treated as a collection of segments and as a place where competition takes place between firms, leading to the need for market research. You will learn the methods used for conducting positioning research for the purpose of adopting a strategic approach to brand and product value. The course explores the concept of the target, i.e. the consumer and/or the person who triggers the buying process, thus influencing the market. Lastly, it tackles the marketing mix, studying how the product relates to the price and so to the market, so as to define all the promotion and advertising activities necessary for a successful product.


    • Design 1

      The course faces the methodological development of a project, starting from the analysis of the brief and going further to the analytical phase of the research. During the course you will work on a concept of interior spaces, starting from the analysis of a private house, the distribution and functionality of the rooms, to finalize the design on the evolution of domestic spaces, designed for different targets of living. The course enables you to comprehend the relationship between people and the domestic space and how the composition of an environment influences people's psychophysical perceptions and sensorial responses.


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.

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.

Paolo Fabiani

Paolo Fabiani
He studied Architecture at the University of Florence, where he embraced his passion for sculpture, transforming it into a full-time job. This passion and his academic background led him to work in the field of architectural models. In 2003, he set up the 3Evan studio, a workshop focused on the realization of Art-Toys and miniatures designed for the world of games and collecting. He taught at the Florence Academy of Fine Art.

Giovanni Iozzi

Giovanni Iozzi
Since 1988 he has been working as System Administrator for communication systems in companies that deal with graphics, multimedia and interior design. He’s also specialised in research and development for strategic and operative marketing. Since 1996 he has been teaching at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

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.