PhD students & graduates

Lists of the PhD students and of the PhD graduates who have earned the degree at the Department of Design, organized by cycle.

Cycle 35

November 2019 – October 2022

Gianluca Carella

Reshaping the organizational culture in Open Innovation companies through design thinking processes

Open Innovation (OI) continues to represent a source of positive impact and the possibility to create a competitive advantage, inside companies that adopt this theory, leveraging on external knowledge and capabilities.
Unfortunately, the corporate culture and the routines rooted within it often represent a barrier to the adoption of OI. Design thinking, more and more, is indicated as a possible solution to these obstacles.

Giuseppe Carmosino

Digital technologies and smart materials for new vessel and yacht design models

The general aim of my research is to investigate the development of the interior design of the common spaces in the vessel cruises from the early buildings to the present ones, with a focus to the supply of digital technologies and smart materials in this areas and their contribution to the information and the entertainment of the customers, in the perspective of a better sustainable process in vessels concept and construction process.

Martina Carraro

Designing human-artificial governance models at the city scale. Data driven urban analysis&control and the new emergent service systems

Within a digitalized global ecosystem, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies transform cities into metabolic services systems, that can be controlled by a data-driven technological infrastructure. The design discipline is fundamental to materialize new collaborative city scenarios, where to rethink the human-artificial relation. Within this emerging scenario the doctoral research has the aim of imagining a new experimental service design model of action.

Jing Chen

Multi-dimensional Sense of home shaping for the elderly with dementia in long-term care Institutions

Further research is needed to determine if and how the identified factors are interrelated and how the factors can be Improved in practice. This study will explore the relationship between multiple factors that affect the sense of home of the elderly with dementia from the perspective of environmental factors, and develop a more comprehensive design strategy to shape the sense of home in long-term care institution based on environmental factors.

Chiara Di Lodovico

Exploring Fashion-Tech Emerging Paradigms for Modeling Innovation Approaches towards Fashion Digital Transformation

Emergent technologies are generating profound transformations in the
fashion industry, driving a paradigm shift. Fashion SMEs are struggling in
adopting such technologies, reducing their opportunities to develop more
competitive and customer-driven actions. The PhD research will identify skill
gaps and barriers that are limiting fashion SMEs in catching digital revolution
opportunities and, accordingly, will develop methods and approaches to
support innovation.

Yang Dongfang

Design for sustainable furniture. Focusing on Sustainable Product, and Product-Service System

I work on Design for Sustainability, mainly focus on sustainable furniture. My research centers on products Life Cycle Design(LCD) and Sustainable Product-Service System(S.PSS), trying to find a solution for an unsustainable development model in the traditional furniture industry.
The research is based on Chinese and Italian background because of the representative role of the two countries both in the developing model and the motivation of sustainability.

Ammer Harb

Epistemology of Design Fiction: Towards a Speculative Approach to Innovation

Speculative Design researchers have used Design Fiction proposals and methodologies in an attempt to provoke discursive debate about future technological and socioeconomic challenges. Still, there is a room for development in the area of Design Fiction application from a participatory Human-Centred paradigm. The aim of the PhD is to investigate the Design Fiction practice as well as exploring and proposing an alternative framework for design futures using Design Fiction as a tool for innovation.

Yasuyuki Hayama

Designerly ways of leading innovation and new roles of designer

The aim of this study is to clarify how design can lead innovation in this complex world settings. Bridging business and innovation management, humanities-social scientific knowledges with design research, he is going to challenge to explore fundamentals of design to lead innovation. And also, he tries to give clearer explanations about designers’ new functions, as mediators between the different knowledge cores to produce innovation.

Vanessa Monna

Civic City and Civic Design. Developing a theoretical framework to build future cities in a cross-cultural context

Contemporary cities are the main stages for experimenting societal futures. Among the visions for future cities, Landry (2017) identifies the Civic City. What’s the role of design within it? Many interpretations of Civic Design already exist, so this research intends to provide an in-depth study on its nature in relation to urban practices in Milan, by providing a cross-cultural map of the meaning of civic, building a relevant theoretical framework to be translated into real projects.

Barbara Pollini

Redefinition of the concept of sustainability through the lens of materials

The choice of material is a key factor in the environmental impact of both products and services; for the same reason it can also become the turning point in terms of innovation and sustainability for future productions. My PhD research is based on the redefinition of the concept of sustainability through the lens of materials and will investigate the frontiers that the project applied to the material can achieve in the definition of a new materiality.

Martina Sciannamè

AI for Positive Emotions in the Domestic Environment

In a world where Artificial Intelligence is becoming tangible, primarily according to technology-driven principles, my research aims to look for solutions to meaningfully integrate AI in our ordinary life. The approach will be cross-disciplinary, taking into account design pillars as well as innovatively intersecting Artificial Intelligence, Environmental Psychology and Emotional Design theories, to allow our domestic environment to bring positive emotions instead of frustration.

Anca Serbanescu

Narrative-based machine enculturation: practices and systems of learning of artificial intelligence based on narration

Her PhD research investigates both the innate and learned processes of knowledge, drawing on the study of neuroscience and cybernetics, with the desire to identify in which phase of the process narrative can be inserted. The will is to create a theoretical model of learning through narration, which allows artificial intelligence (AI) to fit into a specific social context, through the construction of an evolutionary experiential knowledge.

Andrea Taverna

Service Design Education Landscape – Investigating the emerging phenomenon of training in service design

The aim of the doctoral research is to investigate the emerging phenomenon of training in service design. In order to do so, the research will inquiry how the discipline is being taught and the implication of the growing demand for training in Service Design on the competences required and comprehending how changes in the education field (such as digital technologies) could benefit the process of learning. Thus, it will explore future development on the training in Service Design.

Francesco Vergani

Crossing borders between universities and urban communities: designing actions for new scenarios of social inclusion

The research aims to explore the role of universities in restoring and increasing social well-being in heterogeneous urban contexts consisting of different users and communities. Through a theoretical and meta-design path - made up of methods and processes borrowed from space and service design's practices - the research shall try to investigate the relationship between the universities' actors and urban communities to raise awareness on inclusion and social innovation.

Cycle 34

November 2018 – October 2021

Gabriele Barzilai

Designing effective aesthetic strategies to foster user's critical thinking in intelligent-systems-users interaction

The general aim of my research is to investigate the relationship between aesthetics of interaction and user’s awareness in intelligent-systems-users interaction. In particular, I aim to study how the sensory language of interactive systems can be designed to foster user’s critical faculty, with special regard to ethical judgement and behaviour-change in the face of socially sensitive issues (e.g., energy consumption).

Erminia D'Itria

A discovery of 'anomalies': envisioning a new fashion model to shift to a new sustainable paradigm

The discovery of 'anomalies' during revolutions in science leads to new paradigms” (Kuhn,1996). Today Fashion Design for Sustainability is an emerging discipline. As such, it aims to carve a role finding models that will account for as many cases as possible within a coherent framework. This research work is proposed to recognize the current anomalies that thwart the sustainability in the field of fashion design and think a new paradigm resulted in a toolkit in order to facilitate a shift.

Beatrice Gobbo

An aesthetic approach to explainable machine learning models on text and images classification biases

The research will develop a methodological framework aimed at raising awareness among non-expert users of biased machine learning models.
The research will explore the relationship between communication design and explainable machine learning applied to automatic classification of text or picture. Being machine learning models for text and images classification frequently biased due to mental models and personal experience of experts that train them, the research will investigate how data visualisation and communication design can funnel the perception of reliance and doubt.

Ingrid Calvo Ivanovic

Marta Elisa Cecchi

Artedesign – The relationship between art and design expressions

The research investigates the relationship between art and design, that is between the world of visual arts and the world of the project, through the study of the continuous contaminations that these two disciplines, apart from each other, have always had. The analysis of this relationship will be set in the perspective of the study of the materials that constitute both the works of art

Clorinda Sissi Galasso

Maps, Communication Design and Territory. Geolocalized mnemotops for Cultural and Creative Cities

The research aims to analyse the most relevant topics of territories visual communication in order to create new interactive systems. The study will identify the best methods to explore and narrate spaces, resulting in the production of map-based prototypes able to improve the connection between digital supports, complex contents, data, mnemotopes, places and their geolocalized memories.
This research will be carried on working constantly with Università Bocconi, Comune di Milano, UCCN - Milano UNESCO Creative City for Literature, UNESCO Creative Cities Monitor – Ispra.

Huang Li-Ting

From Touchpoints to Turning Points: Building a Sustainable Business Model by Service Design

Touchpoints are one of the essential aspects of service design. In our daily life, services are delivered via multiple touchpoints. The turning point is the time at which a situation starts to change significantly, and it could happen under innovation. Nowadays, cities are operating based on ‘take-make-disposal’ system, and the waste is hastily disposed to landfill or incineration. The urgent action is needed to implement a model that fosters technological, social and organizational innovation for sustainability. In the light of this, then circular economy is seen as a potential solution to design out waste. My doctoral research will focus on how can we use service design to disrupt sustainable business models and system structures.

Jiang Jixiang

Design for social innovation in public space in urban and rural areas

Modern design, no longer the design of “objects”, has transformed into a kind of design strategy. China is confronted with the imbalanced urban-rural development, but the modern design has not yet studied in-depth China’s rural society or urban-rural relationship. The monotonous design practice lacks its due audience in the countryside, and the existing theories and analysis of rural design are far from satisfying. His PhD research is focuses on studying the possibility of sustainable interactive strategy of China’s urban-rural resources from the perspective of design. To be more specific, to research on the inclusive and sustainable space design that strengthens the interaction between urban and rural areas.

Francesco Leoni

Empowering Evidence-Based Policy Design Approaches for City Governance. Integrating A Design For Policy Perspective With Open And Big Data Processing And Visualization

The research will develop a methodological framework aimed at innovating processes of understanding, analysis and development for policy making in urban ecosystems. In order to do so, the research will investigate the emerging field of “design for policy”, specifically by looking at the role of digital data and technologies for their interpretation and visual representation.

Vittorio Linfante

A new Grammar of Italian fashion. Design-driven strategies to support a new (eco) system of the Italian fashion

The research project intends to investigate and to redefine the role of design as a central element for the development of a renewed Italian fashion system, not only thanks to new technologies but also to a broader political vision.
Design therefore as a motor to redefine a set of processes, capable of giving new life to the fashion sector and thus favouring the re-birth of Made in Italy epicentres capable of generating new ecosystems (linked to the educational, the production and the cultural systems) and thus realize a renewed Italian creative economy.

Emilio Lonardo

MindScapes - Transdisciplinary bridges for urban interior projects

By electing the urban space as a metaphor of the space of the mind, it’s clear how in many authors of the psychoanalytic world, as Ernest Hartmann, the processes of representation and metaphorization are in themselves processes of growth, development and change. Hence, the internalization of the point of view of other authors (e.g. Massimo Recalcati, Massimo Schinco), can contribute to the introduction of new visions and to the evolution of tools and methods in the design of public spaces.

Claudia Mastrantoni

Spaces and Services for Innovative Cultural Experiences: Designing Guidelines for New Scenarios of Creative and Adaptive Reuse

The doctoral research is exploring the role of the design of spaces and services within the concept of cultural conservation in a sustainable perspective, also from a social, economic and architectural point of view. Starting from the increase of the contact with particular sites of historical relevance, the research will try to investigate the innovation of future models and strategies, as design opportunities to embrace contemporary conditions and allow the continuation of various voices in the fabric of society and history of the future.

Francesca Mattioli

Embracing Diversity. Developing Design Tools to Improve Effectiveness In Heterogeneous Teams

The doctoral research project is based on two assumptions:
• designers are increasingly involved in creative teamwork;
• teams are becoming extensively characterized by diversity and thus defined as heterogeneous (e.g. interdisciplinary and cross-cultural at the same time)
Both themes are rarely discussed in design literature and the project consist in an in-depth study about how designers collaborate within these teams. The expected result are an assessment framework, guidelines and tools to improve teams’ dynamics.

Flavia Papile

Material selection method: an agile and holistic approach

The material selection process affects design decisions to the very early beginning. The use of a specific material instead of others implies consequences at every level of the production flow. A proper material selection.
This activity is not as simple as it may seem and it is often considered as tedious and time-consuming task to execute. Moreover, it becomes more articulated when the theme of material substitution occurs.

Mila Stepanovic

Behavioural change by persuasion. Shaping digital technologies trough design fiction to foster individual and social challenges

The PhD research investigates the importance of design as enabler of technology in development of digital products for behavioural change and in envisioning scenarios able to face new societal challenges. A research through design approach based on design fiction will foresee the use of persuasive technologies for investigation of future scenarios. These scenarios will be explored with users through digital artefacts developed by exploiting new manufacturing processes.

Umair Shafqat Malik

Experiencing augmented sculptures in museum narratives. A metadata-centered workflow for interacting with different layers of location-based information and narratives through augmented reality

Even though the mass digitization of museum content is useful for creating digital libraries and making the content publically available, it is still not serving the real purpose of Cultural Heritage (CH) preservation and promotion. The aim of this project is to efficiently use the digitized museum artefacts to design new modes of interaction between people (visitors, scholars and curators) and cultural assets by linking the latter with interdisciplinary information and implementing augmented reality (AR) as a tool to promote them.

Diana Pamela Villa Alvarez

Prototyping for the shift from conceptualization to implementation in the field of Policy Design

In the landscape of public policy, the design approach has been gaining visibility and recognition as a tool to innovate in the public domain. In this context, prototyping is emerging as a practice to anticipate and experiment before policy development. Nevertheless, prototyping practices still face a variety of challenges in the transition of Design for/in Policies and the adoption of the design practices in the domain of policy-making.

Yang Yeqiu

Comparative Study of Interior Design Education in Higher education institution in Italy and China

The fundamental goal of interior design education is to prepare students for the profession of interior design by teaching skills and knowledge. In recent years, the interior design profession has changed significantly. Because interior designers take many different approaches to meet the demands of rapidly changing society and diverse requirements of clients, interior design education has been specialized in diverse ways (Interior Design, 2004).
The purpose of his doctoral research is to explore ways of comparing interior design education in Italy and China. The aim of study may have significant contributions to both countries and the people who are associated with interior design fields such as professors, students, professional designers and their employers. This study could be a good pilot study for testing different methods related to the construction of comparison between educational programs in different cultural backgrounds.

Zhang Ziheng

Serious game design for learning

Serious games are “games that do not have entertainment, enjoyment or fun as their primary purpose”. Serious Game designers use people’s interest in video games to capture their attention for a variety of purposes that go beyond pure entertainment. Serious game emerges playful experience, which is recognized as a way of achieving innovation and creativity. It helps people see things differently or achieve unexpected results. A playful approach can be applied to even the most serious or difficult subjects. The research now focuses on bridging the gap between serious intention and game-play experience though a game design method called ``purpose shifting``.

Cycle 33 | November 2017 - October 2020

> Claudio Calì
> Caterina Dastoli
> Siyuan Huang
> Sara Lenzi
> Andrea Giuseppe Manciaracina
> Alessandro Piazza
> Hongming Shu
> Xin Wen
> Ziyu Zhou
> Romina Santi

Cycle 31 | November 2015 - October 2018

> Sara Conte
> Shushu He
> Filipe Lima
> Zichao Nie
> Oxana Nosova
> Tu Ngoc Pham
> Christine Sakr
> Yichen Wu
> Liang Yin

Cycle 30 | November 2014 - October 2017

> Maria De Los Angeles
> Gabriele Colombo
> Marta Corubolo
> Silvia Franceschini
> Bogdan Stojanovic
> Ruta Valusyte

Cycle 29 | November 2013 - October 2016

> Sara Bergamaschi
> Giorgia Galimberti
> Han Han
> Esther Lefebvre
> Ece Ozdil
> Ricardo Saint-Clair
> Sabrina Scuri
> Annamaria Andrea Vitali

Cycle 28 | November 2012 - October 2015

> Davide Angheleddu
> Serena Camere
> Sara Chiesa
> Célia Regina Da Costa
> Sebastiano Ercoli
> Maria Rosanna Fossati
> Francesca Ostuzzi
> Daniela Petrillo
> Marco Spadafora
> Ida Telalbasic
> Danila Zindato

Cycle 27 | November 2011 - October 2014

> Patrizia Bolzan
> Nadia Campadelli
> Laura Galloni
> Natasa Ilincic
> Virginia Lucarelli
> Alessandro Mansutti
> Walter Mattana
> Lucia Filippa Parrino
> Marko Radeta
> Davide Rapp
> Jennifer Rudkin
> Anna Santi
> Zhabiz Shafieyoun
> Dongning Yan
> Jing Zhao

Cycle 26 | November 2010 - October 2013

> Alessandro Baldussu
> Giorgio Buratti
> Paola Cordera
> Paola Garbagnoli
> Laura Mata Garcia
> Elia Gatti
> Alessandro Carlo Lue’
> Giorgia Lupi
> Sara Radice
> Pietro Righi Riva
> Francesco Ruffa

Cycle 25 | November 2009 - October 2012

> Giorgio Caviglia
> Elisa Chiodo
> Müstak Cobanli Onur
> Alvim Nunes Viviane Dos Guimarães
> Eun Ji Cho
> Giacomo Miola
> Giulia Pils
> Angela Ponzini
> Liat Rogel
> Giuseppe Salvia
> Francesco Virtuani

Cycle 24 | November 2008 - October 2011

> Marco Ambrogio
> Michele Antolini
> Pelin Arslan
> Daria Cantu’
> Fabrizio Ceschin
> Shujoy Chakraborty
> Luigi Farrauto
> Elisa Lega
> Xia Liu
> Anna Lottersberger
> Patrik Pradel
> Secil Ugur
> Giulio Verago
> Valentina Vezzani
> Anna Sara Zanolla Mancini
> Fang Zhong