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.

Research Themes for the current Call for Applicants (AY 2020/2021)

Admission opening: 20th April 2020 (10am) [Italian time]
Deadline for admissions: 29th May 2020 (2pm) [Italian time]

The full text of the call is available on the Doctorate School website.

Research Theme


Creative industries in emerging economies: empowering local ecosystems
Valentina Auricchio
TIME_based design
Anna Barbara
Fashion NET. Design + Data + Network Science for innovating the fashion industry
Paola Bertola
Communication design and gender culture: innovative tools for equal society
Valeria Bucchetti
Designing the Body: Future scenarios for fashion design
Alba Cappellieri
Exploring the complex relation between Design and AI
Mauro Ceconello
Design and the culture of organisations
Alessandro Deserti
Next Design Scenarios for “Caring”. Rethinking the use of materials and technology for an alternative desirable future
Marinella Ferrara
Rethinking the role of the Arts in Design Culture
Luca Guerrini
Digital takes Command
Fulvio Irace
Design for Policy Making. Making an Impact in Public Innovation’s Transformation
Stefano Maffei
Information Design and data visualization: unpacking the access to information
Michele Mauri
Integrated Design for multisensorial environments: guidelines and application for the present and the future uses of the simulation tools
Stefania Palmieri
Design studies as re-visions of material culture. Status and emerging new perspectives for product use/shape/function evolutions within material culture
Silvia Pizzocaro
Visual and Audiovisual Accessibility. A proposal of study and experimentation to overcome sensory disability
Dina Riccò
Service design as a framework to experiment with co-design in policy formation
Francesca Rizzo
Framing bio-fabricated materials for design
Valentina Rognoli
Speculative Services. Anticipatory strategies for designing services
Beatrice Villari
Wellbeing for a new human dimension in future Urban Environments
Francesco Scullica
Sound design and narratives for museums and temporary exhibitions
Raffaella Trocchianesi
Designing Sustainable Product-Service System applied to Distributed Economies
Carlo Vezzoli

Moreover, the 36th cycle additional calls for PhD places with thematic scholarships, restricted to a specific research topic, are open.
The calls are available on the Doctorate School website.