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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The course aims to provide fundamental theoretical, methodological and practical useful to the training process of the designers through analysis and study of some research areas of psychology. Specifically, the interdisciplinary will refer to the psychology of perception and form with particular attention to aspects of the acquisition, the 'preparation and organization of visual information. They will also present the theoretical and applied studies on the interaction between designers, user and product, specifying the role that emotions play from the design of the form to the purchasing decisions of consumers. In the last part of the course will examine the specific nature of the form and meaning through the contributions of the Oriental philosophy of Feng Shui (with specific reference to "Form School") in order to interpret the language of articulated shapes, buildings and symbols of man-made, key to the dialogue between man and environment


No specific prerequisites needed, because during the course will provide all the elements necessary for an understanding of the exhibited items.

Course programme

The course includes 48 hours of teaching between lessons and moments of confrontation designed to deepen the topics discussed. The course will address the study and deepening of the following areas: 1. THE PERCEPTION TO FORM. In the first part of the course we will address the issue of perception, trying to single out some of the general properties of the visual and its function. It will be referred to the theoretical and practical principles of the psychology of form according to the studies and the postulates of Gestaltpsychologie including the laws of form and segmentation field, the figure-ground phenomenon, reversibility, persistence and criticisms regarding the idea the perfect match between physical reality and perceptual reality. Some examples will help the understanding of the issues outlined above. 2. ELEMENTS OF THE FORM. Using as a reference the main Gestalt psychology, he will be considered the ideas of Wertheimer, Kohler, Koffka, Kanizsa and Arnheim about visual perception and the psychological processes underlying the creation of forms, necessary to provide an explanation of their meaning. Forms and its components will be analyzed by addressing the constituent elements: the color, light and shadows, shape and configuration. Some practical examples will help the understanding of the above arguments. 3. FORMS AND DESIGN EMOTIONS. It will analyze the role of emotions in decision-making during the selection and purchase of products. It 'clear that emotions are crucial for survival, but the interaction between emotion and cognition, between emotions and visual processes raise important questions such as: how the brain processes the beauty? Because it affects the subconscious level of the consumer in determining the choices? What are the processes that are taking pleasure and fun in front of an object? How neuromarketing studies the neural basis of decision-making processes of buying? This will also address the issue of emotions and archetypes in classical Jungian concept, and how they manifest themselves in the symbols and shapes. In this view the unconscious is expressed through images, to which correspond definite forms and materials; these have an inherent beauty that goes beyond the simple rational understanding. Some practical examples will help the understanding of the above arguments. 4. FENG-SHUI, FORM AND ENVIRONMENT. Will address the fundamentals of the practice of Feng-Shui (with particular reference to the Form School), which aims to design an environment in harmony with nature by taking a holistic view of man and his habitat. The principles, forms, colors, materials and functions of the environment, contribute to the creation of harmonic spaces and in tune with the environmental energies. Understanding, analysis and translation into Western terms of principles of ancient discipline beyond obvious cultural differences, discovering an aesthetic and perceptual universal. It will be carried out practical tests for better learning of these concepts.

Didactic methods

The course is organized as follows: • Lectures on all the topics of the course • Moments of discussion and debate on the verification of the contents exposed through examples and practical exercises. The opportunities for discussion and comparison will be made during the course according to educational needs.

Learning assessment procedures

The aim of the examination is to test the level of achievement of learning objectives previously indicated. The exam, scheduled in oral modality, consisting of questions designed to verify the correct understanding and proper learning of all the topics covered during the course, specifically: • Vision and Visual Perception • Theory, method and experiments of the school's Gestal (with particular reference to the ideas of Wertheimer, Kohler, Koffka, Kanizsa, Rubin and Arnheim) • Emotions, design and purchasing decisions • Forms and archetypes • The color and its meanings perceptual and psychological, conscious and unconscious • Feng Shui School of Form To pass the exam you must obtain a minimum score of 18 out of 30. Conferring honors in the evaluation will be taken into account the participation in class in discussions regarding topics discussed, the exhibition quality, appropriateness of language and further study carried out by the students.

Reference texts

1) Arnheim R. (2009)– “Arte e percezione visiva”. Nuova edizione. Milano, Feltrinelli.
2) Hachen M. (2007)– “Scienza della visione. Spazio e Gestalt, design e comunicazione”. Milano, Apogeo. (Cap.2, 4, 6, 14).
3) Kanizsa G. (1997) – “Grammatica del vedere. Saggi su percezione e Gestalt”. Bologna, il Mulino.

1) Notes provided by the teacher

1) Gallucci F., "Marketing emozionale e neuroscenze". Egea, 2014
2) Giannini A.; T. Marzi; M. P. Viggiano, "Psicologia e società. Design. Percezione visiva e cognizione, psicologia dell'arte, la scelta del prodotto: emozioni, decisione neuroestetica". Giunti (2011)
3) Jung C. G. (2008) – “Gli archetipi dell’inconscio collettivo”. Torino, Bollati Boringhieri. (pp. 7-14; 69-80).
4) Norman D., "Emotional Design. Perchè amiamo (o odiamo) gli oggetti della vita quotidiana". Apogeo (2004)
5) Parancola S., Ros P. (2006) – “Feng Shui della forma. Manuale professionale di architettura Feng Shui”. Milano, Editoriale Delfino. (Cap. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6)
6) Widmann C., (2009) – “Il simbolismo dei colori”. Edizioni Magi.

During further reading will be given complementary to the deepening of parts of the program