Research Themes

The PhD programme in Design is structured into various research fields, which correspond to specific research teams within the Department of Design.
In order to coordinate research activity over a wide range of topics, teams cluster around three Sections, which are:

  • Design and Cultures
  • Products, Strategies and Services
  • Design for Environments, Landscape and Mobility
The PhD programme in Design carries out research on specific topics emerging from the research initiatives of all Departments.

PhD candidates are requested to develop an original research contribution.

The PhD thesis must thus contribute to increase the knowledge in the candidate’s research field. Besides, it has to be coherent with the research topics developed in the Department where the PhD programme is carried out.

The original research results are collected in the PhD thesis, where the candidate’s contribution is brought into correlation with the research state of the art in the specific research field.

According to these topics, every year research avenues are released by the Design PhD program for PhD applicants. Applicants can follow one of the avenues as the basis for the research project to be presented with the application.

Here below you find the research themes for the last Call for Applicants (2018/2019). New research themes will be published with the Call for Applicants 2019/20 for the XXXV cycle, in April 2019.

Cultural landscape semantics and social resilience. Supporting models for post-emergency decision-making, cultural heritage and participatory process
Responsible: Giuseppe Amoruso
MATRIX: the role of design in post-industrial cities
Responsible: Anna Anzani
Map the Cultural and Creative City. Networks for communication of territories.
Responsible: Giovanni Baule
Communication design, women representation and gender culture: innovative tools against stereotypes
Responsible: Valeria Bucchetti
Smart accessories
Responsible: Alba Cappellieri
Exploring ubiquitous and pervasive computing in museums and CH sites. Towards the dematerialization of digital technologies for the enhancement of the visit experience
Responsible: Mauro Ceconello
Design Fiction as speculative approach to innovation
Responsible: Manuela Celi
Sustainable in fiber and textile processes
Responsible: Giovanni Maria Conti
Design for public sector innovation
Responsible: Alessandro Deserti
Design for city making
Responsible: Davide Fassi
Smart Experience. Emerging Materials for a Next Design Scenario
Responsible: Marinella Ferrara
Behavioural Change by Persuasion. Shaping digital technologies through design fiction to foster individual and social challenges.
Responsible: Venere Ferraro
micro*actions. social design practices for micro enterprise setting and territory development
Responsible: Maurizio Figiani
Rethinking the role of the Arts in Design Culture
Responsible: Luca Guerrini
Design for policy making. Towards the centrality of evaluation and data visualization for the development of public sector innovation.
Responsible: Stefano Maffei
Future food systems for resilence and sustainability
Responsible: Anna Meroni
Fashion Forward. Design driven new-cos within the fashion industry between local manufacturing and global networks.
Responsible: Valeria Maria Iannilli
Innovating the scientific dissemination & communication of Phd design research. Compelling strategies, curatorial formats and visions for maximising reliable and high impact design knowledge sharing
Responsible: Eleonora Lupo
Design studies as re-visions of material culture. Status and emerging new perspectives for product use/shape/function evolutions within material culture
Responsible: Silvia Pizzocaro
Digital innovation and smart materials for yacht design
Responsible: Andrea Ratti
Migrants and urban spaces. Places and practices of cohabitation for the activation of new forms of sociality.
Responsible: Agnese Rebaglio
Vsual and audiovisual accessibility. Experimentation of ways, techniques, languages for the synaesthetic access to the visual and audiovisual contents in sensory disabilities
Responsible: Dina Riccò
Speculative materials: materials experiences as triggers for future scenarios
Responsible: Valentina Rognoli
Multidisciplinar color & lighting design
Responsible: Maurizio Rossi
Experiencing augmented sculptures in museum narratives. A metadata-centered workflow for interacting with different layers of location-based information and narratives through augmented reality
Responsible: Raffaella Trocchianesi
Designing sustainable product-service system applied to distributed economies
Responsible: Carlo Vezzoli
Service design for (new) urban manufacturing scenarios
Responsible: Beatrice Villari
Social dynamics of fashion innovation
Responsible: Paolo Volontè
Engagement through design in organizations
Responsible: Francesco Zurlo