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 2024/2025)

Deadline: 30th May 2024 (2pm, Italian time)

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

Research Theme


Naturalness of Autonomous Vehicles: Measuring the Naturalness of Interaction between People and Vehicles
Marco Ajovalasit
Advanced Simulation of Cultural Places and Exhibitions. Design for Inclusive Experience, Accessible Environments, and Heritage Visualization
Giuseppe Amoruso
Beyond Human-Centered Design: Embracing Non-Human and Non-User Perspectives in Product Development
Laura Anselmi
From Visual Culture to New Boundaries for Communication Design Education
Valeria Bucchetti
Towards a Protopian Paradigm in Design: Redefining Creativity in the Post-Anthropocene Era
Marita Canina - Carmen Bruno
Exploring Theoretical and Responsible Dimensions of Interactive Digital Narratives: Towards New Dynamics and Models of Communication
Mariana Ciancia
Dress, Body, Design: Innovating fashion design practices within the framework of a triple-transition through design
Chiara Colombi
Developing Sustainable Clothing: Implementing Research for Knitwear Industry
Giovanni Maria Conti
Regenerative design beyond sustainability: Integrating Bio-receptive and Biophilic Design in living environments
Fiammetta Costa
The Political Role of Places. A Discourse on Public Spaces.
Annalinda De Rosa
Merging the design potential with crafting in the Creative Economy
Marinella Ferrara
New Paradigms for Learning Spaces: Guidelines for the Design of Peer-To-Peer, Experimental, and Learning by Doing Educational Environments
Giulia Gerosa
Enhancing Senior Living Facilities through Ageing-Inclusive Placemaking Practices
Silvia Maria Gramegna
Rethinking the Role of the Arts in Design Culture
Luca Guerrini
Designing For Peaceful and Convivial Ecosystems
Anna Meroni
Design Practices for Human Technological Transition in the Textile-Knitwear Manufacturing Sector
Martina Motta
Design for the Regeneration of Local Values of Small Towns and Rural Areas
Marina Parente
Collaborative Storytelling Practices. Re-Shaping Co-Designing Content and Experiences in Marginal Contexts
Francesca Piredda
Design and Make Culture 4.0
James Christopher Postell
Generative AIs and Computational Approaches in Communication Design
Marco Quaggiotto
Computational Yacht Design for Flexible Manufacturing
Andrea Ratti
Design Culture Philology: Designing the Activation of Archives and Narratives of Historical Paths
Agnese Rebaglio
Museum Accessibility. Role and Responsibility of Communication Design
Dina Riccò
From Invaders to Inspirers: Exploring Invasive Alien Plants as a Model for Biomimetic Design and Sustainable Materials Development
Valentina Rognoli
Designing for Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration
Valentina Rognoli
Designing the Role of Acoustic and Sound Perception for the Well-Being of Users in Interiors for the Hospitality Sector
Francesco A. Scullica
Service Design for Placemaking. The Challenge to Provide Quality Multi-Stakeholder Engagements and Experiences to Regenerate a Space into a Meaningful Place.
Daniela Selloni
Light and color in games
Andrea Siniscalco
New Professions and Competencies on Design for Cultural Heritage: Towards a New Landscape of Design Profiles
Raffaella Trocchianesi
Service Design to Foster Just and Inclusive Transformations
Beatrice Villari

Moreover, the 40th 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.