Design - Made in Italy

Summer and Winter Courses - Florence

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This program focuses on the basic skills and methodologies employed in product design, understanding the quality of Made in Italy products, especially in craftsmanship-based Italian SMEs. During the course you will have the chance to explore and learn more about Florence as a historical city of design and fashion that has reinvented itself over the centuries and that in an age of globalization has a relevant role in the world of design, merging high-end craftsmanship and innovation processes.

You will comprehend industrial and manufacturing design processes, you will learn how to merge cultural and historical factors with product and brand communication elements in order to develop - innovation based - design projects.



  • Start date
    July 2020
  • Duration
    3 weeks
  • Attendance
  • Language

Schedule: From Monday to Thursday on a full time basis (morning and afternoon), the course has a duration of 75 hours spread over 3 weeks.

Target: This course is intended for people who are interested in the world of design and have no prior knowledge or experience in the discipline and want to learn and take on challenges. Skills such as drawing or sketching can be useful even if not mandatory. Applicants need to show strong motivation and the ability to work in groups.

Methodology and structure: This program allows you to discover the authenticity and the history of the Italian craftsmanship, and learn that the success of the ‘Italian design system’ is based on the dialogue between handicraft and new technology. You will acquire basic design knowledge and understand the
supply chain that determines the quality of a finished product.

The theoretical notions acquired during the course are applied in modelling and design workshops.
During the final project presentation together with your fellow you will show the results of the work carried out through the course.

Summer course includes a strategic combination of theoretical lessons, held by designers and professionals of the field, cultural field trips, workshops and visits to handicraft stores.
Site visits are an integral part of the program’s learning experience and are designed to complement what is acquired in the classroom as well as serve as an on-going orientation to the field.

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.

Costanza Menchi - Course Coordinator

Costanza Menchi - Course Coordinator
Researcher and Counselor in Art History, specialized in History of Costume and Fashion. Founder of Let’s Work Artisans, the didactic project of Associazione OmA in Florence. She studied and taught both in the US and Italy. She’s always been interested in costume and fashion as disciplines that reflect culture and society of a country and as a communication tool.

Paola Passeri

Paola Passeri
Architect, specialized in motion graphic and video design. Professional development of media for visual communication: from graphic design to corporate and promotional videos, to audiovisual products for educational and teaching, to museum video settings, to contents for interactive video installations.   

Silvia Gentili

Silvia Gentili
Silvia Gentili has a professional profile with a strong business vision, always acting as a support to strategic business decisions. Extensive knowledge of the dynamics of the fashion market and “brand awareness” enhance activities (strategic and operative marketing, licensing and merchandising). Silvia has a working knowledge both of the retail – wholesale/franchising and e-commerce market and their key indicators for turnover analysis.

Danilo De Roberto

Danilo De Roberto
Expert in design and production, he has trained in Italy between Rome and Florence. Actually Freelance Designer and consultant for an architecture studio located in Shanghai. He has been coordinator and developer in research projects in the field of reverse engineering. He exhibited with some product collections in four editions of Salone del Mobile in Milan. After five years working as a Designer in a luxury brand made in Italy, today he matches the freelance activity and teaching job at the Faculty of Architecture of Florence University and at IED Firenze.

Alessandra Ripa

Alessandra Ripa
Alessandra has an Architectural degree from the University of Florence, where she has also regurarly carried out research projects in the field of design, material and sustainable production. While she was a Researcher at the Industrial Design Department she was part of an Unesco project that aimed at inscribing the leather Tuscan craftmanship on the World Heritage List. She currently works as a Designer and Project Manager in the retail sector for Italian fashion brands.

  • Study Plan

    • History of Italian Design

      The program focus on the historical development of Italian design. In particular, it offers you a general overview of the historical periods and main movements that influenced and inspired major designers, as well as provides you with an outline of the main icons of Italian design.


    • Communication Strategies

      Technological demands have forced designers to become multifaceted. In the current environment, besides of being talented at design aesthetics, you are expected to have a good working knowledge of digital strategy and communication. Through this program you acquire good communication skills that can be applied in the design and fashion fields.


    • Italian Design: Contemporary Trends

      The objective of the course is to provide you with the tools for identifying, reading and analyzing the main European trends in product, furniture, interior, fashion design, colours, materials and finishing. The course highlight the material and immaterial values of the ‘Made in Italy’ production through a sociological and cultural perspective.

    • Introduction to Colours, Materials, Forms and Texture

      Basic design methodology with hands-on experience to better comprehend designers’ choices of production possibilities and material and shape manipulations.

    • Modelling and Design Experience Workshop

      This workshop allows you to understand the role of the innovation process and advanced technologies in the Italian handicraft, in particular, it shows how technology becomes a tool through which the elements of tradition are updated, so as to make them suitable for the needs of markets and consumers.

    • Branding

      You will learn the brand’s value as a point of contact between business and consumers. You will acquire the skills in order to build plans that provides structure and guidance for how to deploy a brand and connect it with the customers successfully.