Italian Contemporary Design and Trends - Spring Semester

Semester Courses - Milan

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Contemporary design encompasses the present, pulling current trends; it is always evolving due in part to the availability of (new) materials and pieces. 

The aim of the Italian Contemporary Design and Trends Spring Semester is to enrich you with a cultural knowledge on the contemporary design as well as the contemporary art. This allows you to have an overview on the new trends in terms of art, furniture and interior design, as well as learn more about contemporary artists and designers and the different techniques, materials, and tools they use when realizing their artworks.

The program will also offer you a practical study of the Italian design system from the management and the design methodology perspective. New trends in furniture, various types of houses, different lifestyles and people's needs and desires will be analyzed from a practical and emotional point of view.

Throughout the semester you will be engaged in developing technical and critical skills in the classroom and inside the main trade fairs that highlight the Italian design experience.


  • Start date
    February 2022
  • Duration
    15 weeks
  • Attendance
  • Language

Schedule:  Lessons run from Monday to Friday, full time

Target: This course is designed for students directly out of high school, or mature students who are ready for a career change or to build on the skills they have. A basic knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator commands is requested.

Structure and methodology: The first part of the course will allow you to understand the Italian design system, focusing mainly on furniture design. At the same time you will acquire the tools and the methods necessary to analyze a specific collection of a specific brand, through the use of colors, materials and finishings.
The course is structured around the major international trade shows including Salone del Mobile furniture show in Milan and the Design Week, Salone Satellite, Euroluce, International Bathroom Exhibition and the International Home Furnishings Expo.

Thanks to the basic knowledge acquired at the beginning of the course, you will be able to do an analytical experience on field during the Milano Design week and individuate the main trends in the furniture design filed. This will be the starting point to work on a proposal for a new collection for a “Made in Italy” brand.
During the course you will develop technical skills which will allow them to translate their ideas in a professional presentation for a client.


  • Study Plan

    • Contemporary Design

      This topic explores contemporary trends and design languages, which will be investigated via showroom visits and lectures. Lectures will focus on the contemporary domestic life, initially deepening various typologies of houses which underline different lifestyles. The purpose of this first assignment is to understand that the design of a physical space influences the mental state of the occupants. Attention will be focused on contemporary furniture trends, which define the needs and desires of the occupants, not only from a practical and functional point of view but also an emotional one. The physical environment will be read through the analysis of the contemporary production of furniture and design languages, focusing on shapes and forms, colors, textures, materials. You will create a book of trends: magazines, catalogues, showrooms tours will be used as research tools for the final presentation.

    • Contemporary art

      The instructor will introduce, analyze, compare, contrast, and juxtapose the profile and the work of painters, photographers, sculptors and video artists who use a variety of media, materials, tools, and processes to create their work. Lectures will be complimented by site visits to galleries and exhibitions.

    • Design trends

      This course provides you with the analytical, cultural and economic tools needed to identify and analyze trends in design. The course prepares you for the Milano Design Week by providing an investigative methodology. The course includes a theoretical section, to define methods of analysis and verification of the main macro and micro trends in design and interior design. The final exam is a research project focused on a single brand of the furniture industry considered a “trend setter”.

    • Design Trends Workshop

      The course objective is to structure a comprehensive research project on a major macro and micro trend that emerged during the Milan Design Week. Beginning with an analysis of what was presented during the course, you develop a complete mapping of the main design and interior design trends. The areas analyzed will focus on home design, retail store design, entertainment design. At the end of the course you will present your project of a new line of colors, materials, finishings proposal for a new line of products for a “Made in Italy” furniture brand.

    • Graphic Design

      Focuses on the basic principles of graphic design and composition of diverse elements with attention to the balance between them. As well students understand the differences in developing a layout for printing or relative to a presentation in digital format will be addressed. The course also goes in depth with the use of the main graphic design softwares; Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.

    • Materials Trends

      Exploration of the impressive choice of materials available to designers, as well as analysis of new materials and surface finishes. Through the workshop and visits to the most important Italian producers you analyze how specific colors, materials and finishes affect a space or a product and how they can be used as instruments of communication.

    • Research Methods

      The course is organized in two different modules: the first module is focused on the user experience connected with a specific product, while the second module allows you to understand a brand, its image and values.

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.

Federica Bosoni - Course coordinator

Federica Bosoni - Course coordinator
Federica obtained a diploma in Interior Architecture at IED Milano. Right after, she gained work experience in architecture and design studios in the fields of graphics, interior design and events organization. She has worked at the European Institute of Design since 2006 in the organization and teaching of both the Academic Year and the Three-year courses in English.

Anna Costella

Anna Costella
Anna Costella, holds a Degree in Architecture from the Politecnico di Milano and also completed a Masters in Design and Management. She currently works as an independent consultant and Interior Designer.

Gisella Veronese

Gisella Veronese
Gisella Veronese is an Architect and also completed a PhD in Interior and Set Design at Politecnico di Milano, and in Industrial Design Engineering at Brunel University West London. She taught in many international design workshops and worked in architectural studios, art galleries and PR agencies. At IED Milano she teaches in the areas of interior design, design history, and trends in interior and industrial design.

Gabriel Weirich

Gabriel Weirich
Graduated in Fashion Design (HAW Hamburg, Germany. His interdisciplinary consultancy studio in Milan is active in the field of design. The spectrum of the studio’s work ranges from Innovation managing, Product design, Design thinking, Trend observering and storytelling. His international clients include: WMF, Glaskoch, Ritzenhoff, Silit, Alfi, Belforte and San Patrignano. Design awards: DAAD, Marlborough Design Award, Red Dot Design Award “Best of the Best".

Cristina Silva

Cristina Silva
Cristina Silva holds Degrees in Visual Arts, Art History and Drawing and Pictorial Techniques from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. She works with museums and exhibitions and teaches arts in the middle and high schools.

Aida Halimi

Aida Halimi
Aida graduated in Industrial Design and right after she attended a Master of Science in Product Design for Innovation. Her job is mainly focused on material and technology research and she’s responsible of a material library for Design Innovation. She works as CMF trend consultant for different companies and She does scouting of new manufactoring technologies and supplier.

Leandro Sgrò

Leandro Sgrò
He collaborates with various design firms, providing creative and strategic consultancy for innovative projects. In 2014 he worked as graphic designer at e-commerce in Dublin and in 2016 at the User-experience department of NetDragon WebSoft. Inc in Fuzhou (China), he participated at the Design Biennial of Guangzhou (South Korea) in 2017 and conducted research at the Design Thinking for Business Observatory of the MIP in Milan.