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 2022/2023)

Deadline: 20th May 2022 (2pm, Italian time)

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

Research Theme


Design For Meaning Framework For Autonomous Vehicles
Marco Ajovalasit
Experimentation and development of strategies for a societal evolution and transition to the concept of active aging
Mario Bisson
Design Culture vs Polytechnic culture (Philology, maps and archives of historical paths and international scenarios compared: the cases of Milan, London and Cambridge (Boston)
Giampiero Bosoni
Make Aware. Spatial and Exhibit Design to awake people’s consciousness
Giampiero Bosoni
Communication Design for Welfare: inclusion and common good
Valeria Bucchetti
Communication Design for Mediation Design. Interfacing and Ethical Communication Devices for Networks of Territorial and Social Actors
Daniela Anna Calabi
Blending Design Thinking and Design Futures: new design approaches for future sustainable scenarios
Marita Canina
Designing innovative scenarios to promote environmental sustainability in the high jewellery supply chain
Alba Cappellieri
Re-engineering fashion archives Digital technologies integration into complex cultural fruition systems
Daria Casciani
Design Futures as reflexive changemaker: understanding how future-connected studies and methodologies change design practice
Manuela Celi
Italian Typography Redefined: the Nebiolo Type Foundry, 1852–1978
Alessandro Colizzi
Unpacking Fashion-Tech Innovation. Design-driven research for fashion products, services and processes innovation through the medium of practice
Chiara Colombi
Tradition - Modernity - Place - Time
Peter Di Sabatino
Cultural and Creative communities: the impact of design for social innovation in small and remote places
Davide Fassi
Exploring new ways to combine the potential of Design with Craft
Marinella Ferrara
Exploring the design of circular materials for territorial material identities
Marinella Ferrara
Spatial and Service Design for disused public interiors. Hybrid Spaces: models of urban experimentation and social inclusion
Laura Galluzzo
Rethinking the role of the Arts in Design Culture
Luca Guerrini
Design driven participatory strategies for the “Museum of proximity” in post-pandemic times
Eleonora Lupo
Searching for an impactful Theory of Change in (Urban) Circularity Approaches. Connecting circularity paradigms, processes, product-services into a design for policy-servicesmateriality approach
Stefano Maffei
Visual exploration of digital archives
Michele Mauri
Design-Led Policy and Governance: A Global Taxonomy in the Age of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
Marzia Mortati
Sensitive and cyborg landscapes. A new Taxonomy for Spatial Design, in-between Nature and Artifice, towards a new vision of Ecology
Giovanna Piccinno
Sustainable and healthy living systems in the post pandemic era: Design strategies based on spaces-furniture ecosystems for living and working in Europe
James Postell
Sustainability in the Furniture Sector
James Postell
Artificial Intelligence in the Design Process
Lucia Rampino
Sensory Accessibility. A proposal of Study and Experimentation on the Accessibility of Multimedia Contents in Museums
Dina Riccò
Alternative Circular Materials for product and fashion design
Valentina Rognoli
Images for the metaverse: new technologies and evolution of drawing between digital interaction and storytelling for scientific and cultural dissemination.
Michela Rossi
Envisioning fashion retailing transformation: towards innovative culture-driven and sustainable retail and service models
Alessandra Spagnoli
Sustainability in temporary equipment systems. New models, methodologies, approaches, guidelines to face temporary exhibitions in contemporary events
Raffaella Trocchianesi
Service Design to foster tolerance and inclusiveness
Beatrice Villari
The Image of the Other. The Role of the Media Communication for the Acknowledgment of the Cultural Alterity
Salvatore Zingale

Moreover, the 38th cycle additional calls for PhD places with thematic scholarships, restricted to a specific research topic, are open.
The calls are available on the PhD School website.