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Academic year
Didactic period
Secondo Semestre

Training objectives

The Basic Design Studio provides students with the basic tools for designing functional products and following the strict connection between requirement and performance, with hints to communication and service design.

The Studio is made of a main discipline (Product Design) and an in-depth Module (Materials and Production). The synergy of both Modules aims to provide students with the fundamental tools to shape the production with a material prevalence. Through a scientific approach, made of lessons and immediate experimental interim exercises, students will be guided to an aware design of products and the possible integration with communication and service issues.

In the learning process, it will be a key point to be able to trace and manage the information sources for deepening concepts, tools, production methods and materials, knowing how to analyse, evaluate and include in the design setting and then to develop critical thinking and the ability to synthesize.
As part of the Laboratory, students will have to acquire the ability to describe the design specifications of what they have conceived, taking into account the needs of a potential customer, and to configure its shape accordingly.

In addition to the graphic and representation skills of the project, in the scales and with the appropriate methods, students will deepen their knowledge of the fundamental performance of the materials.
The final design must therefore be soundly conceived and represented, starting from an initial concept up to its final form.

The Basic Design Studio A and B have the same learning objectives, even if carried out with different teaching methods. In any case, common events will be planned, in the form of workshops and seminars, in order to investigate the conceptual bases of design and help to deepen the topic of the final exam.


Master the essential tools of drawing in general and orthogonal projections in particular.
Knowing the basics of graphic design, visual perception and editorial graphics.

Course programme

Planar design will be explored as one of the main features of contemporary design, managing the transition from two to three dimensional projects.

Through lessons and exercises the student will learn how to:
- hierarchize one's thoughts to shape the project
- check the sign, its definition and its composition in space
- study the visual weight of the composition and check the connection between the features of its elements
- analyse, choose and control the colour
- produce visual interest, through the composition and repetition of complex outlines (patterns)
- transfer the acquired knowledge from two-dimensional to a three-dimensional project
- analyse the relationship between the requirements chosen for your artefact, its production and the necessary performance.

To support these skills, it will be offered a set of meetings with experts and companies.

Module of Product Design:
- The tools of communication
- Qualifying subjects for contemporary design
- Tools and methods: measure, sort, orient
- The sign and its variations
- Repetitions, modules, patterns and textures
- Colour: meanings and uses;
- The two and three-dimensional product
- Applications: the project for the company and the interpretation of requests and needs
- Drawing to produce

Module of Materials and Production:
- introduction to materials, their characteristics and classification
- use and transformation of materials
- sustainability of materials
- bend the materials to the needs of the design
- relationship between requirements and performances
- sensory and technical features
- in-depth study of the main materials for the industrial product design, traditional and innovative, and their production methods.

Didactic methods

Learning assessment procedures

Reference texts

- Bruno Munari, Da cosa nasce cosa, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1981.
- Donald Norman, Emotional Design, Basic Books, 2005

Further specific texts will be suggested during the lessons.
At the end of each lesson, the projected slides will be available online in the Course file.

- Thompson R., Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals, Thames & Hudson2007.
- Thompson R., Thompson M., The materials Sourcebook for Design Professionals, Thames & Hudson, 2017

At the end of each lecture the slides will be made available online.
Further specific documents will be recommended during the learning activities, mainly chosen within books and e-books available at the Department library, free access files in pdf or video, downloadable from the course website or linked from the web.