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Versione italiana
Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The aim of this course is to direct and to enable the students, in an experimental form, to face the themes and methods of design for the enhancement of the cultural heritage.
The theoretical principles and the methodological tools of curatorial practice, the marketing and communication strategies for the promotion of a cultural or artistic event, build the skill frame that support the design process in a critical and analitical form.
The design course is based on methodological lectures, design exercices and practice, meetings with scholars, direct experiences, aiming to train the students to develop independence and self-management in the design for italian cultural heritage.

The course of Theory and criticism of design focuses on design for the museological enhancement of the cultural heritage, concentrating particularly on the curatorial project and the meta project of staging and communication. The lectures are aimed at transferring theoretical principles, critical instruments and methods for the analysis, selection and arrangement of collections of historical items and works of art.
A further objective is to make the students fully aware of the complex problems involved in an enhancement that should operate systematically and be effectively positioned in the contemporary cultural situation that has become more fluid and varied than ever.

Cultural heritage enhancement and management can not ignore appropriate marketing and communication strategies, a crucial moment for the promotion of a cultural or artistic event promoted by different actors, public or private. Such actors must constantly check the available resources, their financial statements, program the acquisition of external resources, and promote their collections and temporary events to obtain the economic returns. The marketing and communication strategies are crucial to the success of a cultural event and the profit or loss resulting therefrom. The module of Economic evaluation of the product development aims to illustrate some elements of economics and cultural marketing of cultural events, focusing on the user experience, involving, directly and indirectly, the potential visitors. The lessons will also help to understand the targeting strategies to identify the potential audience of cultural experience.


Basic design workshop, Concept design workshop

Course programme

The course topics will be introduced in detail during the first lesson

The course topics will be introduced in detail during the first lesson

Topics covered:
Fundamentals of microeconomics, the theory of markets, supply and demand
The demand and supply of art
Fundamentals of Marketing
The definition of cultural property
The marketing of the cultural sector
Marketing in Museums
Market segmentation, positioning and targeting potential audience
Integrated marketing communications: advertising, new media, media selection
Public / private fund raising

Didactic methods

Teaching will take the form of lectures, research, design and prototyping practices under the supervision of the teaching staff. During the design sessions, the theaching staff will check the availability and the ability of the students in critical reflection, in researching and investigate a design theme, in developping design solutions and to communicate them.

Teaching will take the form of lectures, seminars and practices under the continual supervision of the teaching staff. The aim of this approach is to enable students to tackle the themes and methods of design for the enhancement of the cultural heritage, through research, study and critical reflection carried out on direct and indirect sources, related to the city of Ferrara collections.

The module is developed in a combination of lectures and group works.

Learning assessment procedures

In the exam the students discuss the result of their project showing the drawings, models and renderings that testimony the course experience.

Reference texts

The texts are related to the three courses and will be distinguished, in the process of presentation, in fundamental and recommended.

L. Cataldo, M. Paraventi, Il museo oggi. Linee guida per una museologia contemporanea, Hoepli, 2007;
L. Corti, I beni culturali e la loro catalogazione, Bruno Mondadori, 2003;
V. Falletti, M. Maggi, I musei, Il Mulino, 2012;
F. Irace (a cura di), Design & cultural heritage, Electa, 2014, 3 voll.;
A. Lugli, Museologia, Jaca Book, 2015;
M. V. Marini Clarelli, Il museo nel mondo contemporaneo, Carocci, 2011;
M. Montella, Il capitale culturale, EUM, 2009;
M. Montella, Valore e valorizzazione del patrimonio culturale storico, Electa, 2009;
H. U. Obrist, Fare una mostra, UTET, 2014;
C. Tosco, I beni culturali. Storia, tutela e valorizzazione, Il Mulino, 2014;
S. Vasco Rocca, Beni culturali e catalogazione, Gangemi, 2003;
G. Vitale, Design di sistema per le istituzioni culturali. Il museo empatico, Zanichelli, 2013;
G. Vitale, Il museo visibile. Visual design, museo, comunicazione, Lupetti, 2010;

M. Cerquetti, Marketing museale e creazione di valore: strategie per l’innovazione dei musei italiani, FrancoAngeli, 2014;
N. Kotler, P. Kotler, Marketing dei musei, Einaudi, 2004;

N. Potter, Che cos’è un designer. Things, Places, Messages. Codice edizioni, 2010;
P. Duboy, Carlo Scarpa. L’arte di esporre, Johan&Levi, 2016;
G. Di Napoli, I principi della forma. Natura, percezione e arte, Einaudi, 2011.