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Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

knowledge and understanding:
Ability to analyze, understand and interpret the brief.
Knowledge of methodology and techniques for defining the objectives of a design project.
Understanding of the implications of a productive, technological-constructive, functional, formal and use nature, and of the relationships that a product establishes with industry and the market.
Knowledge of methodology and techniques for the development of conceptual hypotheses (CONCEPT DESIGN) related to specific project briefs.
Knowledge of methodology and techniques for finalizing a conceptual project into a definitive project, and understanding of its implications in the production process and on product quality.
Ability to synthesize the overall idea in all its aspects in a single paper.


ability to apply knowledge and understanding
Through the application of the skills acquired in the training course in the area of ¿¿industrial design, the student must be able to:
Define and articulate forms both in the graphic-visual project and in the spatial one of objects, artifacts, interfaces and environments at every scale.
Selecting and integrating theoretical and technical contributions from different disciplines, transferring knowledge and applying them to the design project.
Analyze the context of use and the types of users of a specific product, analyze needs and requirements and define a coherent project brief.
Conduct a product analysis and evaluate the performance characteristics of the products and their responsiveness of a project brief.
Develop different Concept Designs, or conceptual projects that interpret functional, production and market requirements and the needs of users through different configurations, selecting and modifying them on the basis of the feedback received.

Course programme

“New Workplaces. Needs of the body. Needs of the soul ''
The general theme of the 2020-21 Concept Design Laboratory will focus on a design reflection around furnishing elements designed for different contexts and on the relationship that these furnishings are able to establish with users, with the needs of the body and soul. in particular from the recent experience of the lockdown.

Uncomfortable place
During the lockdown, the theme of self-design re-emerged with an unexpected and widespread enthusiasm and creativity. It is Enzo Mari's 1974 dream - to restore operational power to ordinary people - which has come true in times of need.
'Self-design' is this year's theme, a call for action launched by the UNIFE Concept Design Laboratory with the collaboration of the Palazzo dei Diamanti bookshop in Ferrara, which asks students to design "instructions for making an object in the museum" .
A tribute to 'Proposal for self-design', the 1974 exhibition, in which Enzo Mari radically outlined the controversy against a market that flattened people's critical capacity. In that exhibition, which was essentially an original 1: 1 scale instruction manual for simple and easily made furniture, Mari tried to restore operational power to ordinary people. The autonomy of doing synonymous with freedom. “Each of us designs every day, when we are forced to make decisions, even the seemingly trivial ones” writes the designer in “25 ways to drive a nail”. And he continues: "Humanity has evolved by designing what was essential to it, from the amygdala to the tools to light the fire, to the structures of language".

Didactic methods

The teaching activity will be divided into lectures, preparatory exercises and final exam.
The lectures aim to provide students with technical and analytical tools for solving problems in the field of conceptualization and the genesis of projects, the correct presentation of the works, as well as the acquisition of awareness of market strategies related to the business world. Guests from the world of profession, culture and business will be invited to provide direct testimonies on the various facets of the project-system.
Several case studies will be presented and critically analyzed.
The teaching methodology will make use of the following tools:
Ex-tempore classroom exercises, single or group, using mixed techniques (freehand drawing; digital image processing; short texts) for the representation of project ideas
Realization of physical scale models as a tool for studying the shape of products
Use of digital tools in a critical way where required by individual projects
For the exchange of teaching material, digital shared folders on the Google Drive platform will be used, whose sharing methods will be specified during the course.
The Graphic Design module supports that of Product Design, first providing a space for research and reflection on general issues, and then developing a path through the development of a communication strategy integrated with the development of the concept.
The course is divided into two parts, a preparatory one that will develop the theme of the course at a cultural and conceptual level, in which students will develop two preliminary exercises (“Poster design” and “Icon design”).
The second part of the course, alongside the Concept laboratory, according to a group work, will propose to the students to develop a communication strategy for the Concept project, identifying and developing some useful tools to present their product, in line with the corporate communication strategy: brand, guidelines and communication plan oriented to a web campaign.

Learning assessment procedures

The material to be presented consists of:
Research book and presentation relating to the laboratory project; analysis and project tables; object model.
With regard to the Graphic design module, during the examination it will be necessary to present the results of the preparatory exercises "Poster design", "Icon design" and the materials relating to the communication of the Concept project agreed with the teacher.

The assessment of learning will take place through ex tempore tests in the classroom, aimed at verifying the student's ability in the analysis and organization of information, in the project proposal developed on the basis of functional solutions and morphological variants.
The evaluation is comprehensive and will take into account ongoing exercises, active participation in seminars, lectures and presentation sessions, in-depth study of the research part, contribution to the working group, autonomy in the development of project proposals. , the acquisition of the methodological bases taught, the ability to graphically present the proposals.
The exam will consist of an interview on the topics of the lessons, based on the material produced in the ex tempore tests and in the thematic exercise.

Reference texts

Munari Bruno - From what comes what, Laterza, 2010
Morrison Jasper, Fukasawa Naoto - Super Normal. Sensation of the Ordinary, Lars Müller Publishers, 2007
Enzo Mari, Self-design, Corraini
A.Bassi, Anonymous design in Italy, Electa
D.Scodeller, Spontaneous design, Traces of widespread design
Clivio Franco - Hidden Forms, Skira, 2014
Falcinelli Riccardo - Portable critic at visula design, Turin, Einaudi 2014
Carmi Elio - Branding. A design oriented vision, Milan, Fausto Lupetti, 2009
Frutiger Adrian, Signs and Symbols. Drawing, project and meaning, Rome, Alternative Press, 1998.
Vignelli Massimo, Vignelli Canon.

Further information on qualifications and in-depth materials will be provided during the introductory thematic lessons.