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 current Call for Applicants (2019/2020).

Admission opening: 18 April 2019 (10am) [italian time]
Deadline for admissions: 21 May 2019 (2pm) [italian time]

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

Research Theme


New technologies and functional Design for 4.0 Revolution in Healthcare: a new vision for the future of drugs in terms of design, development, administration and distribution
Giuseppe Andreoni
Communication design, women representation and gender culture: innovative tools for equal society
Valeria Bucchetti
Hand and Machine: Crafting The Futures of Fashion Design
Alba Cappellieri
Design Fiction as speculative approach to innovation
Manuela Celi
Design for sustainable textile and fashion system
Giovanni Maria Conti
Design and the culture of organisations
Alessandro Deserti
University campuses as incubators for social innovation
Davide Fassi
The Smart Experience & Next Design Scenarios. Emerging Materials, IoT, and User Involvement in the Smart Age
Marinella Ferrara
Rethinking the role of the Arts in Design Culture
Luca Guerrini
Designing history. The design approach to cultural heritage: Luigi Caccia Dominioni archive
Fulvio Irace
Artefacts in transition: designing meanings and behaviours of cultural intensive performative artefacts
Eleonora Lupo
Design for Policy Making. Making an Impact in Public Innovation’s Transformation
Stefano Maffei
Information Design and Data Visualization for culture and society: tools, methods, interfaces
Michele Mauri
Museology for archives: the faber and the memory of his environment. Designing enhancement strategies
Anna Mazzanti
To design with care and actual people's behaviors. Product design implications for the daily needs of elderly and vulnerable users: the case of self care and medication compliance
Antonella Valeria Penati
Narrative-driven communication unfolding sense-making via audiovisual and ludic interactions
Francesca Piredda
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. Experimentation of ways, techniques, languages, for the synaesthetic access to the visual and audiovisual contents in sensory disabilities
Dina Riccò
Alternative Materials for product and fashion design
Valentina Rognoli
Visual codes and communication strategies in the multimedia age in design project and interior design culture
Michela Rossi
Design for a sustainable interior, with a focus on office
Francesco Scullica
“Performative” models of interactive cultural experience in museums and cultural exhibitions through innovative and customized lighting systems
Raffaella Trocchianesi
Designing Sustainable Product-Service System applied to Distributed Economies
Carlo Vezzoli
How to align both internal and external capabilities: design thinking supporting organization for open innovation
Francesco Zurlo

Moreover, the 35th 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.