Design al Politecnico di Milano / Design at Politecnico di Milano


In our contemporary society design has become an important strategic asset. According to the 2015-2020 National Research Programme drawn up by the Ministry of Education, Universities and Research the design industry is characterised by a high potential Moreover, during this year’s Design Week, the research agency Symbola presented a very interesting study titled Design Economy highlighting Italy’s leading role in this sector at European level It is an unceasingly evolving sector in a constant state of ferment This is the context in which our Design Department is collocated and works Among Politecnico di Milano’s 12 Departments the Design Department occupies a place in-between the disciplines of Engineering and Architecture, almost as a sort of hinge The Department is relatively large Actually, at international level it is very large In fact, it counts 102 professors and assistant professors around 40 young researchers about 50 students following a Doctoral Programme the only one in Design in Italy and a technical-administrative staff composed of 40 people Owing to these people we have the possibility to organise research and training activities and manage an extraordinary patrimony made up of laboratories that occupy a surface of about 10,000 square metres It is a Department where professors researchers, students and technical-administrative staff can work, test, design and prototype their works These are research and training activities as well as activities self-funded through partnerships with companies and the wider community We also have a strong relationship with the entire fertile ground of experts, professionals and professors in Milano belonging to the industrial and professional environments who hold lessons in our Department Another two aspects worth of mention concern our position, particularly interesting, especially at a time such as this In fact, we are collocated at the Politecnico di Milano which according to the latest international data, ranks 39th worldwide Besides, with reference to the Art and Design sector our Department ranks 7th worldwide this being the best performance of an Italian Department Basically, we rank first in Italy and third in Europe Above us, worldwide there are only universities of the calibre of MIT and Oxford or at any rate English-speaking universities The other aspect we are somehow exploiting to enhance our activities is the fact of being positioned in Milano a city which after Expo 2015 has gained a vitality which all of Europe envies Indeed, Milano stands for becoming a capital for the youth as it is a capital of innovation In fact, the city hosts numerous creative and cultural enterprises it offers new initiatives and events on a daily basis and it is characterised by a fabric of creative communities that is small or large communities that are inventing new ways of being of existing and of living together These communities originated in particular from the economic crisis but they are now developing in many different directions Our traditional abilities to work in the ‘Made in Italy’ have actually broadened over the years owing to the digital transformation that has stimulated the traditional sectors A further extremely important element to highlight is the legacy we have inherited which on the one hand, is burdensome for it risks to be a restraint on the other hand, though, it is absolutely vital It is the legacy left by great masters such as Gio Ponti, Alberto Rosselli, the Castiglioni brothers and Zanuso who studied at the Politecnico and then taught here enabling us to inherit not only the famous ‘Made in Italy’ but also and especially that in which we place our interest a particular approach toward reality that leads to an ironic and disenchanted way of viewing things always a bit amused but also affectionate with the aim to fill the gap between the way the world is today and the way it is in our imagination And we imagine it a bit nicer a bit more fair a bit more sustainable This is the direction undertaken by research We are committed in developing the great themes that have been defined also at European level such as digital manufacturing that is the 4.0 industry the cultural and creative industry with culture impacting on the contemporary economy and cities, through smart cities All this leads to the possibility to modify relationships objects, our surroundings Training is carried out through other institutions owing to a strong collaboration with the School of Design to which the Department provides about 80% of the professors and with Consortium POLI.design which instead takes care of the professional training that is the non-institutional one The goal is to bring innovation to enterprises and communities to train people who will then go around the world developing innovation Indeed, the design of objects environments, all which surrounds us in the most diverse sectors from fashion to services, products, mobility needs to become increasingly sustainable and ever more linked to people’s needs and necessities

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