Product Design

Three year Courses - Milan

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The course’s objective is to train Product Designers who can deal with the evolution of the traditional relation between Designer and enterprise towards a new scenario.  Nowadays professionals in Design are called to broaden their competences by stepping in not just on the product - the visible part of a project - but also on the related service, the intagible part connected to the relation among product, user and the surrounding system. 
The Product Designer shows those methodological competences allowing to design objects, strategies and services in the light of researches and market analysis, useful to industrial, self or artisanal productions. Thanks to a user-centered approach, his work is featured by sympathy between people and projects sustainability. 

Career opportunities - Product Designer, Service Designer, Concept Designer, Inventor and Self-Entrepreneur.

Title –This BA is recognized by Italian Ministry of Education Research (MIUR) as an Academic Diploma Level I and awards 180 credits

This course is also held in Italian language

  • Credits
  • Start date
    October 2017
  • Duration
    3 years
  • Attendance
  • Language

Context – The Product Designer profession is experiencing a great change, besides designing as a freelance or within a professional studio, he is demanded to directly enter the job market becoming a self-made man, entrepreneur and producer of his own ideas.

Methodology and structure – In three years, students acquire the worldwide famous Italian design culture, with origins in Leonardo’s genius, capable of expressing works of great aesthetic, functional and emotional value. 

To undertake a professional career, students get a wide range of competences: cultural, technical and based on project development. Cultural elements connected to design, architecture and art are analysed but also sociology and anthropology, necessary to comprehend and interpret the evolutionary phenomena of behaviour, the main subject of design. 
Students are introduced to marketing, a fundamental tool for analysing brand values and corporate market positioning of the companies they work with, and for reading and anticipating consumer needs and trends. 

Students develop their own solid project development method that, starting from ethical, social and sustainability values, allows them to acquire a mindset for strategic design. This design method is completed by the study of tools to develop, assess and explain a project: the pencil, 3D modelling software, rendering, lab work for the construction of models and prototypes using 3D printers. Thanks to the electronic prototyping platform Arduino, students are able to experiment the interaction between functions of the object and people’s behaviour. 


  • I year

    • Perception Theory and the Psychology of Form

      The course illustrates the scientific theories that explain the functioning of our senses and connects them to research on the psychology of shape. The course also focuses on the relationship between colour and matter, analysing the material properties of natural and artificial materials and of superficial sensorial responses. Furthermore, the course teaches students to use color atlases (the Munsell System, NCS, Pantone, Pantone Tessile TPX9) in order to develop the ability to distinguish between the hue, value and chroma of a colour.

    • Design Methods

      The course provides students with the analytical tools to examine the relationship between product, people, market and brand. Furthermore, the course focuses on the various stages of design development, from the briefing to the final project. Hence, it uses the Design Thinking method to analyze and understand behaviors, people’s needs, usability, technological and technical issues.

    • Technical Drawing

      The course explores the principles of descriptive, projective and perspective geometry, all preparatory to the study of technical design and the use of 2D and 3D project design software. The course first focuses on free-hand drawing and then moves on to technical drawing, which represents the analysis and detail of an industrial product. The second part of the course focuses on 3D modeling software.

    • Graphic Design

      The course sets off with free-hand drawing as a representation tool. It deals with the use of pencil as an expressive tool, in order to teach students to perceive proportions, sizes, and shapes. The second part of the course introduces students to essential software notions, graphic design and image processing software.

    • Materials Typology 1

      The course focuses on the analysis of the processes and materials used to translate an idea into an industrial product. The materials’ physical and morphological features are analysed as well as technological, industrial, and handcrafted production processes. Starting from the analysis of pre-existing products, the technological and structural choices are studied in relation to the functional and ergonomic choices made by the Designer.

    • History of Contemporary Art 1

      The course explores the main artistic movements and their main exponents. Together with the historical development of art, the course seeks to go into depth with a critical understanding of artistic codes and artworks considered as complex visual texts and as phenomena that illustrate cultural, social and aesthetic evolutions, in relation to other forms of expression and communication (architecture, design, etc.).

    • History of Design 1

      It seeks to provide students with a basic knowledge to understand the shapes and concepts that underlie industrial products in history. The course also examines the design situation at the time of the industrial revolution, and then studies the birth of the first industrial products to later focus on the project philosophy of the Masters of the Modern Movement and of the designers who have contributed to the history of Italian design from the Post War period up to the present.

    • Modelling Techniques 1

      The course provides the theoretical and practical tools to produce models using the most suitable materials for the project model and different design steps. 3D vision enables the student to examine the idea and to assess its formal essence. Hence, the model defines the project from a 3D perspective and makes it possible to assess proportions and volumes in real terms.

    • Introduction to Cultural Marketing

      The course explores the role of marketing in defining a product strategy and its relationship with design. The concept of market as a place where businesses compete is studied. The course stresses positioning research techniques, in order to strategically determine brand and product value. Finally, it’s analysed the marketing mix, which studies the product in relation to the market in order to define promotion and advertising actions.

    • Product Design 1

      The design theme is a small household appliance for the kitchen environment or for cleaning. It’s required the design of an industrial product taking in consideration the needs of people who use it, the market position and the manufacturability. In the first phase students acquire all the information needed to define the scenario of the project through laboratory activities. In the second phase, students work on preliminary project and then to definitive project through technical drawings, models and digital presentation.

  • II year

    • 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, of ethical and social values, of lifestyles. The course studies the techniques and the tools that allow to understand lifestyles and dynamics of social interaction.

    • Drawing Techniques and Technologies

      The course aims at refining students’ rendering skills, from free hand drawing to digital tools, to favor communication effectiveness in the presentation of an idea. In all its stages, the project is thus described with the most suitable technique: freehand drawings and digital renderings achieved with the latest and most updated software.


    • Materials Typology 2

      The course deals with the new frontiers in design related to the DCA (Design Cycle Assessment) philosophy which focuses on the control of a product’s sustainability from its creation to the end of its life cycle. The technological features of some families of new-generation materials are examined in relation to their processing and properties of sustainability. The course goes into depth with the most advanced production processes and technologies for rapid prototyping (Rapid Tooling), 3D printing, and self-production.

    • Design 1

      The course deals with the theme of self-production for the constitution of a start-up company. Starting from an in-depth research about the environment and of people’s behavior and needs, a design concept able to lead to the development of a product is worked out. The product is prototyped and built in the lab by using technologies like those linked to the platform Arduino.

    • History of Contemporary Architecture

      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.

    • 3D Computer Model-Making Techniques

      The course focuses on digital image processing in a 3D context. The first part of the course goes into depth with 3D surface modelling software, automatic generation of perspectives, views and sections, shadows, surface texturing, and rendering. The second part of the course explores rendering and animation to create, view and assess 3D objects through texturing and lighting techniques.


    • Modelling Techniques 2

      A specific training focused on the self-production of objects that guides the student from product design up to the choice of materials and production processes. The course stresses the knowledge of prototyping techniques, thus combining technological know-how with the practical skills of artisanal culture, by means of an experimental approach.

    • History of Design 2

      The course offers an analytical overview to highlight movements, schools, organizations, companies and designers that have determined the evolution and trends of design. The course analyses the relationships between expressive languages, companies and people, but also the mutual influence among creative disciplines: architecture, design, fashion, music, and visual arts.

    • Design Management

      The course deals with the concept of brand, which is the main element in the definition of the values that the company seeks to communicate to the market and the values that the market actually perceives. Then the consumer is analysed, as well as his approach to objects and space, in the light of experience marketing, which today represents the main lever in the positioning process of brands and products.

    • Product Design 2

      Aim of this design course is testing new instruments and techniques of Design Thinking. The design theme is a fitness equipment that can respond to new behaviors and new trends related to indoors physical activity. The project starts from the behavior and needs of different types of people who feel the need to do sport. It’s also necessary to understand what exists on the market today and what the trends are.

  • III year

    • 3D Rendering Technologies

      The student learns to use software for photo rendering that can recreate products, objects, materials, and lighting to make them look similar to a photograph. Hence, the Designer can create 3D objects and environment with photorealistic images in order to assess the material and chromatic choices made in the project.

    • Layout and Display Techniques

      The course deals with issues related to the communication of the project and the creation of professional tools, such as the portfolio of projects to present to the customer. The course focuses on how to communicate the genesis of project idea by the composition of a storyboard, intended as an organizational chart of the project narrative. Moreover, students learn to use software to generate multimedia communication tools for the project.

    • Design 2

      This project is preliminary to the Final Project laboratory, which takes place in the second semester and can be in collaboration with companies or associations, or proposed by the students. This course allows students to use all the technical, methodological and cultural elements learned in the three-year course. In addition, the presence of companies gives students the opportunities to live the simulation of a professional experience.


    • Product Design 3

      The course focuses on the design of services, a booming project field. The issue concerns the application of services to the inhabitants of the cities, with the aim of simplifying life. Students focus their analysis on specific groups of people through advanced tools of Design Thinking, which are used to develop a survey on field aimed at getting in connection with the identified groups. 

    • Phenomenology of Contemporary Art

      The course uses phenomenology as a science and method to understand the connection between reality and creative expression. The course delves into a multiplicity of artistic fields and intertwines them with timely issues like sustainability, fair trade, multiculturalism and globalisation. The perception of the arts and man’s surrounding environment ultimately delivers the experience that phenomenology analyses in this class.


    • Cultural Anthropology

      It’s a branch of human sciences focused on the study of the human being within specific socio-cultural environments, which aims at defining ethnic groups’ ideas, life styles and culture. Among its main methods, there is the ethnographic survey, which consists in the participant observation of the society, its practices and interplays. With this course, students improve their skills in their design’s primal survey. 


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.

Giacomo Bertolazzi – Course coordinator

Giacomo Bertolazzi – Course coordinator
Graduated in Interior Architecture at IED in 1994, he collaborated at the Futurarium project organizing international workshops held by Gaetano Pesce, Ron Arad and Ettore Sottsass among others. Since 1995 he's been working for IED Milano as Teacher and Product Design course Coordinator, along with his freelance activity.  Linkedin 

Marina Botta

Marina Botta
Architect, PhD at Politecnico in Milan and KTH in Stockholm and Environmental Designer graduated at MIT, Boston. Researcher on building and urban renovation with respect for the existing and sustainability. She has cooperated with several universities, public housing authorities and Stockholm planning office. To IED students she proposes a design approach based on the awareness of the environmental issues. Personal website Linkedin

Davide Dell'Orto

Davide Dell'Orto
Bachelor in Product design at IED Milano, Master course degree in Product design at IED Milano. Prototype maker, modelling lab teacher, specialized in the development of prototypes and in brainstorming groups management. Collaboration with design studio Giallo 108 and modelling studio Elaboratorio. He collaborates with the IED Design School as modelling teacher and laboratory assistant.

Mattia Parlangeli

Mattia Parlangeli
BA in Industrial Design and Master in Graphic Design Management at IED Milano. Founder of, he works in many areas of visual communication such as brand identity, typography and web design for brands like IED Master, FMI, San Carlo, Red Bull.      Personal website

Ruggero Prandi

Ruggero Prandi
Graduated in Product Service System Design, he has always connected the passion for industrial design with the interest for marketing. Expert in project management in both Media and Communication Sector on international scale, nowadays he’s coordinating integrated marketing projects for Italian insurance industry’s top players.     

Antonio Salvi

Antonio Salvi
Architect and Designer, he started his career working in the engineering field and then, as Project Manager, in the research on polymers and new materials for ENI group, until he turned to design. His business is currently focused on structural packaging design and high education. He is the author of Plastica Tecnologia Design.   Linkedin 

Elisa Saporiti

Elisa Saporiti
She is a Product Strategic Designer graduated at the IED Milano. Since 2003 she’s been engaged in global development of products, from the research to final aesthetics for clients such as Head, Gardena, Nolan, Britax, Chicco and others. Over the years, she has gained significant experience in color design. Linkedin

Gabriel Weirich

Gabriel Weirich
Graduated in Fashion Design (HAW Hamburg), he got a Master at Domus Academy. His studio is specialized in product design, trend research, innovation management and design strategy. Among his awards: DAAD, Marlborough Design Award, Red Dot Design Award “Best of the Best”.  Linkedin

Stefano Moscatelli

Stefano Moscatelli
Architect with PhD in Architecture, urban design, conservation of housing and landscape. He won many awards for his projects. Currently he teaches at IED, at Politecnico di Milano, and at the Spring Semester of the University of Southern California. He is the author of the monographies On the road: Milano, 2015, Archibook Expo 2015, Zurigo. The quest of the essential, 2006, Senso e forma dell’architettura contemporanea. Le tecniche del comporre, 2009 and of a few itineraries of contemporary architecture for the magazine Area.

Paula A. Callejas Greiffenstein

Paula A. Callejas Greiffenstein
She worked within the Domus Academy Research Center (D.A.R.C.) and collaborate with some studios/companies in Italy (Italform, Mdp, Francesca Valan, Linea Sette) participating in different industrial, graphic and research projects, and approaching different field from: materials, colors and trends to environmental design, working  individually and in interdisciplinary teams.

Matteo Moscatelli

Matteo Moscatelli
Architect and PhD, he teaches at Politecnico in Milan, at IED and at the University of Southern California. He writes for the magazine Area. He published Zurigo. La ricerca dell’essenziale and Senso e forma dell’architettura contemporanea. He received awards in architectural and urban design competitions. Personal website Linkedin

Filippo Protasoni

Filippo Protasoni
Born in 1980, he studied in Italy and Norway. During his studies in Product and Interior Design, he has developed his own project methodology, which led him to display his works at the Salone 2004. After several collaborations with international studios such as Emmanuel Babled and Pierandrei Associati, he founded his own studio, working on furniture and lighting, retail spaces and hospitality, art and design exhibits. Member of ADI and Teacher at IED and Politecnico in Milan.

Filippo Tazzari

Filippo Tazzari
Graduated in applied arts, since 1997 he’s been working in the field of design, mosaics and virtual elaborations. Besides numerous collaborations with architects, design studios and art ateliers, he took part at various exhibitions in Milan, Ravenna, Paris, Strasbourg and Miami. Since 2001 he’s been teaching Digital Graphic in various institutes in Lombardy. Linkedin Personal website

Carla Sedini

Carla Sedini
After a Master degree in Sociology, she got a PhD in Quality of Life in the Information Society. From 2014 she’s been working as Contract Professor at Politecnico in Milan for the course Processes of social innovation through design. Linkedin

Simone Bonanni

Simone Bonanni
Graduated at IED Milano in 2011 with the project Atmo, awarded with a Honourable Mention at the 23rd ADI Compasso D'oro Award (Targa Giovani). In the same year he began his professional career working at Valerio Sommella design studio in Milan. In 2012 he worked at BPM Studio in Milan as Product Designer, the he joined the Marcel Wanders team in Amsterdam. Here he worked for clients such as Olivari, Bisazza, Magis, Moooi, Poliform, Alessi and many others. Back from The Netherlands, he settled down in Milan and opened his design studio.

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
She graduated in Political Sciences and got Masters in Screenwriting & Film Production. She is a Film Critic, Journalist Member of the Foreign Press Association in New York & Italian Association of Journalists in Milan, Filmmaker and Visual Artist. Her paintings have been exhibited in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris, Manhattan. Personal website.

Maddalena Tibertelli De Pisis

Maddalena Tibertelli De Pisis
With a Master Degree in Contemporary Art History at Università Statale in Milan, she is Art Historian and Archive Curator. After an experience working for Artforum and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, she is now manager and curator of the archive of the Associazione per Filippo de Pisis in Milan, as well as for other art artists’ archives of the 20th c. Since 2012 she is PhD student at the Sorbonne in Paris. 

Federico Cassani

Federico Cassani
Graduated in Urban Planning from Polytechnic in Milan and specialized in Urban Design at the South Bank University in London. Expert in urban and transport planning, he was Responsible for sustainable mobility at Systematica. Co-founder of MIC Mobility in Chain. Professor at IED Milano and Domus Academy. Project Manager for over 50 sustainability masterplans and groundbreaking projects such as the Transport Assessment Plan of Tripoli and Benghazi in Libya and the transport consultancy for a new foundation city in Egypt. 

Bilge O. Porro

Bilge O. Porro
Product Service System and Interior Designer, she works at spark, a Reply company dealing with business development programmes for top players in the Italian and European markets. She uses design as an instrument to enable and accelerate the fulfilment of strategic and operative objectives in the different areas within an organisation, thanks to the experiences she had in Italy and abroad in the fields of interior design, product & communication design, ux design, service design, and the skills developed in the organisation and support of international workshops.