PhD students & graduates

Lists of the PhD students and of the PhD graduates who have earned the degree at the Department of Design, organized by cycle.

Cycle 39

November 2023 – October 2026

Annunziata Albano

Infrastructuring with care: exploring interdependencies between care and efficacy in voluntary-based infrastructures

The institutionalization of relations between public bodies and non-profit organizations has led to non-profit organizations becoming professionalized and sometimes replacing public bodies in welfare management (Gargiulo &Busso, 2017). Non-profit organizations' challenges include competitiveness for funding, lack of constant participation, and the perception of marginality for less professionalized associations. These changes have resulted in conflicting outcomes (Tozzi, 2023) and, generally speaking, in the depoliticization of the Third Sector in today's neoliberal society (Citroni, 2022). TSOs, non-governmental organizations, and private commercial entities form neighborhood networks to avoid resource duplication and create synergies. Research (Ranzini, 2020) shows that these networks can be exclusionary, inhibiting social forces as producers of knowledge and change in fragile territories. There is also a need to enable infrastructures within these emerging organizational realities to promote public discussion and prevent local relegation. However, the fragility of internal collaboration methods and communication aimed at external parties, observed by the candidate in 1 / 6an ethnographic immersion that lasts for ten months, must be addressed before expanding these networks from local to global scales. Research proposition Viewing these informal and voluntary-based networks as infrastructures (Star &Ruhleder, 1996) can provide a useful analytical lens for reading and intervening in their design practices (Bodker et al., 2016). While the literature discusses cases of single non-profit organizations developing their own infrastructure (see, for example, Agid, 2016; Akama et al., 2017; Bodker et al.; 2016; Huybrechts et al., 2018); there are few examples of infrastructures set up by and for different actors, outlining new challenges (Peer, 2023). Between them, the challenge to think with care (Puig de la Bellacasa, 2011) seems particularly compelling in these contexts, as Rossitto et al. (2021) pointed out. Even when developed through participatory processes, design solutions tend to be technocratic in the name of efficacy, to the detriment of the acts of mutual care on which these infrastructures are usually based, in particular when it comes to the sustainability of articulation (Star &Strauss, 1999) and boundary work (Lee, 2007), which results in anti-design. The research, therefore, intends to explore the tensions and contradictions that may arise when considering the interdependencies between care and more efficacy-centered rationalities in voluntary-based infrastructures.

Bellantuono Arianna

Redesigning methodologies with an intersectional perspective for cognitive Public Administration (PAs) communication

This research is carried out in the context of different cultures, through anthropological perspectives and semiotic knowledge. For this reason, in Italy, the public administration needs to create new methods of communication that allow for the improvement of inclusion, specifically communication in its cognitive aspects (understanding, interpretation, and execution of the task). In this sense, it is essential to consider the presence of different social and anthropological otherness, with which it is often challenging to communicate in the best possible way. This research regards the need for an effective dialogue with social actors who have migrated from another country, both ``first generation`` and ``second generation``, and with citizens who, for whatever reason, have difficulties establishing effective dialogue. One of the main problems is that it is necessary to develop effective and efficient forms of communication that consider social complexity. There is a need to improve methodologies and strategies through planning activities to enhance the differences between identities as a value and resource. This need is particularly felt in small and medium-sized towns in Southern Italy, where there is a great need to create a dialogic connection across the different identities of citizens who move to a new place and were born and raised there. This kind of relationship could help improve the city as a more inclusive and welcoming place for new and old citizens, and increase tourism through improved integration. The proposal aims to remodel the existing methodologies of communication using an intersectionality design through the dialogue between alterities, to make the places, the communications, and the daily life more comfortable.

Burzio Giorgia

Artefacts from living data: data physicalization for embodied interaction

Humans have been creating physical representations of data for millennia to make sense of their surroundings, elaborate interpretations of phenomena, and support decision-making. Nowadays, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) allow for an enormous quantity of data to be created and shared every day to an extent where society is becoming ``data-driven`` (Pentland, 2013). Despite their power in shaping societal, cultural, and technological challenges, data are often perceived as something objective and given to people, often completely out of context (Lee-Smith et al., 2023). The field of Critical Data Studies (CDS) states instead that data are not given but co-created by the full aggregation of software, hardware, documentation, and, above all, people. CDS highlights the relevance of big data as well as small data, personal data, and participatory data. In this regard, the novel field of HumanData Interaction (HDI) investigates systems that facilitate humans' interpretation and engagement with digital information, opening innovative design spaces based on interactive and sensorial artifacts and materials imbued with data. An example is what Jansen et al. (2015) define as data physicalization: ``a physical artifact whose geometry or material properties encode data,`` including in the definition of all kinds of data materialized into a tangible artifact. This doctoral research expands from this research area, framing it within the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and interaction design domain, referring to CDS and Data.

Cinelli Elisa

Designing children’s learning spaces and services in urban public spaces

The research focuses on children’s right to the city, framing the dialogue between pre-school educational services and urban public spaces. The aim is to define design criteria that enable a re-appropriation of public space through design actions and practices, starting from an early childhood perspective. The research is interdisciplinary, involving both the Design Department and the Architecture and Urban Studies (DASTU) Department.

Cipriani Laura

Design and Ethics of Care to improve justice and sustainability of food aid and donation systems

The research proposes the development of a methodological framework aimed at innovating food donation systems in addressing poverty, food education and environmental awareness. To achieve this, the research exploring renewal scenarios from urban food systems through Ethics of Care, systemic design, experimental and open practices within co-design activities focused on the use of technology as a tool able to accommodate intersectionality and trigger sustainable, conscious and healthy supply and consumption behaviours within donation circuits.

de Francesca Marco

L'arte performativa come strumento di progetto

Il design e il teatro indagano la relazione fra il corpo e l'ambiente. Lo spazio pubblico e le pratiche di progettazione partecipata sono al centro della ricerca contemporanea sia nell'ambito della scena teatrale che del design dello spazio pubblico e della riqualificazione urbana. L'arte performativa può rappresentare un valido strumento per la progettazione dello spazio urbano e per promuovere l?inclusione di frange della popolazione più marginalizzate all'interno della vita della città.

Ferraresi Stefano

Towards a new approach for a holistic integration of sustainable material selection and ecodesign in an appliances company

The damage linked to linear models and the evolution of the regulatory framework are pushing companies towards the uptake of multiple measures for sustainable transition. Through an appropriate combination of methodologies and tools belonging to Design for Sustainability and materials selection disciplines, the project aims to guide the appliance company towards a sustainable transition path, offering high-level insights deriving from research. At the same time, the common path cocreated with the company will allow the generation of new academic knowledge

Gasimova Narmin

Recycled sustainable and ecofriendly materials in design.

Designing with environmentally friendly and sustainable materials has become essential as a result of addressing environmental challenges and promoting responsible consumption practices. An overview of sustainable materials and their applications in design is given in this paper, with a focus on their environmental attributes, benefits, and challenges. Among the many options that come under the umbrella of sustainable materials are resources that are recyclable, low-impact alternatives, and renewable.One of the primary objectives of design is to minimize the overall environmental impact of a good or service. It describes innovative design strategies for products and services that take into account all aspects of the product's life cycle, including the extraction, manufacture, distribution, and use of raw materials, recycling, reparability, and disposal. This paper focuses specifically on the built environment and provides a theoretical overview of the literature on eco design.In order to further improve the environmental performance of design goods, the article discusses cutting-edge recycling methods and emerging trends in sustainable materials, such as bio-based materials. This article, in summary, emphasizes the importance of using sustainable materials in design practice and provides advice on how designers can make choices that will lead to more ecologically and socially responsible designs.

Guarino Nicla

Biofabrication as a new frontier for generating sustainable and hybrid wearables through digital manufacturing technologiesn

Nowadays, technological devices are an integral part of our daily lives, but, unfortunately, any malfunctioning, outdated, or broken device has a significant impact on our planet. Electronic devices are often not disposed of correctly, and their components are inadequately separated. As a result, the heavy metals present in them, along with other components such as plastic, glass, or textile, release toxic substances that contaminate the environment and harm human health. To tackle this issue, it is crucial to promote practices such as reusing, repairing, or remanufacturing to separate biodegradable materials from technical components and maintain their circulation. In this scenario, the research focuses specifically on wearable devices to tackle e-waste challenges by promoting the blending of electronics and innovation, driving the transition towards sustainable development. To this end, the study aims to intersect three areas of interest, HumanComputer Interaction (HCI), BioDesign, and Digital Fabrication, to find new alternatives and reinterpret the traditional materials used in wearable. By adopting a Research through Design approach, the research will integrate a more-than-human perspective in tinkering and digital fabrication activities with the hybridity, smartness, and livingness of the interactive and living materials involved. The integration of these properties could have significant implications, such as the emergence of beneficial applications, changes in the role of designers in the process, and enhancements to the user experience in terms of symbiotic interactions. With this aim, the doctoral program aims to achieve several outcomes, including (i) conducting a literature review of existing approaches and methods in the field, as well as a state-of-the-art analysis of biobased and biofabricated materials, (ii) producing multilayered prototypes, and (iii) developing an effective methodology for practitioners.

Hou Weihuan

Museum Accessibility. Synesthetic Translation Based on the ``Immersive`` Museums for All

Cultural heritage resources can and should be accessible to both impaired and non-disabled individuals, in line with a Design for All methodology that underlines everyone's right to equal chances (Kosmas et al., 2020). However, most museums still concentrate on audio-visual communication approaches, with only a few museums extending the application of tactile materials to provide accessibility for the visually impaired and the blind. Regarding the effectiveness and comprehensibility of the multisensory (auditory/visual/tactile) messages that are ultimately translated from cultural information, it is not yet known whether they meet the criteria of accessibility (content + emotion). This study aims to identify the 'identity' of communication design in the context of museum accessibility and to explore the relationship between culture, senses, and memory, with the goal of enhancing the accessibility of museum experiences through synesthetic translation and digital technologies. Specifically, the following aspects are included: How can visual information of cultural artifacts be translated into meaningful, communicable, and understandable auditory and tactile content? 1. How can digital technologies serve the visually impaired by creating a special ``immersive`` multisensory experience for them as well? How can cultural information be emotionalized through multisensory interactions to build long-term memory? 3. How can the effectiveness of a particular multisensory experience be recognized in terms of content and emotional accessibility in museums? 4. Expected results include a design process for synesthetic translation to standardize effective methods of translating sensory information between visual/auditory and tactile senses, and design guidelines to guide the development of multi-sensory experience projects in museums and to be used to provide a standard system for validating their effectiveness in terms of content and emotional accessibility in museums.

Lyu Jinze

Omi-channel Innovative Forecaste Modle in Retail Scenario Under the Phygital Interactive Background. From East-West Combination Perspective

When the physical and digital dimensions are mixed, the advancement of technology and the upgrading of demand have transformed retail from multichannel to omnichannel, and the design covers a wider level. Most of the existing research results focus on digital retailing, omnichannel retailing, and retail transformation, and few research projects can provide specific, paradigmatic, framed, and systematic omnichannel innovative retail models for reference by retailers. This project will start from the perspective of the combination of Eastern culture and Western narrative under the retail perspective, predict and design the omnichannel innovation paradigm of the future retail industry, and summarize a systematic and framed innovation model. This project can bring innovative ideas of new omnichannel retailing methods to designers, brands and consumers in the East and the West and can stimulate retailers to make optimal choices in the face of complex and changeable contemporary trajectories, which is conducive to promoting communication and exchanges between the eastern and western retail industries.

Marziali Lara

Imaging a community: supercomputers, science and research in Italy

The project aims to trace the history of Cineca, as a specific case study to use in investigating the relationship between technological materiality of infrastructures and political visions. Today, Cineca is the main Italian supercomputing center, recognized worldwide for its important role, as it hosts Leonardo one of the most powerful supercomputers in Europe. Like Cineca, in the Sixties were founded many other centers in Italy (i.e. CNUCE, CINOCA, CSATA, etc). Those centers aimed to give scientific communities and Universities a support in computing ability, thus they had to follow the rapidly advances in computing and supercomputing, contending the scarce State resources for scientific research. Analyzing supercomputer's role also helps to understand the socio-material construction of science and research in Italy, especially since it permits to do science by computer simulation. This is true especially in the Eighties, since it is in this decade that we see a significant attention on supercomputers and high-performance computing.The demand for a continuous increase in computational capability by hard sciences places supercomputers at the heart of the relation between scientific communities, digital technologies and nation-states, as the high costs in public infrastructure and computing competences can only be sustained by governments. Those interlinks are continuously highlighted in Cineca's case. This case study helps us to have a wider knowledge of the different computing practices that changed the world.

Meraviglia Matteo

Applying biophilic design in living environments. the role of computational design

The research focuses on the lack of a shared biophilic design framework that blends human emotional needs with natural-artificial interactions. It aims to bridge this gap by exploring Computational Design's role in creating new artificial ecologies, integrating physical and digital realities. Methods involve theoretical exploration and experiments. The main expected outcomes are cognitive and practice design frameworks for sustainable, nature-integrated environments, contributing to design advancement and environmental well-being.

Nakakawa Bernal Andrea

HOMEDEM: Codesigning a home with dementia

This project looks at the ecosystem surrounding the care a person with dementia receives at home. A diagnosis of dementia results in an interplay of complex organizational issues that impact the opportunity of the person with dementia (PwD) to remain living at home. Navigating both formal and community-based support services and structures is often difficult throughout the diagnosis and care continuum. Authors have identified critical transitions along the dementia journey that are especially challenging because of a variety of reasons (e.g., information is often fragmented, and resources are frequently underdeveloped in relation to personalized care and psychosocial supports). For a PwD, it can also be difficult to participate fully in decision-making processes, which can affect his/her autonomy, citizenship, and personhood. This research is concerned with integrating autonomy, personhood, and citizenship in the care ecosystem, by understanding informal and formal care dynamics with a view to enhancing the capability and sustainability of the care ecosystem. I will research new forms of care ecosystems for dementia, providing a framework for the understanding and interpretation of autonomy, personhood, and citizenship within community-based support services across the continuum of care.

Ratti Lucia

TOWARDS A ``RADICAL`` BOTANICAL CITY: Design for vegetal coexistence, comprehension and care in urban ecosystems

The role of the plant kingdom in maintaining the planet's balance is crucial, and today, more than ever, it has to enter the public debate to move it toward the drafting of shared measures to contrast ecological issues. Nevertheless, anthropocentric tendencies and phenomena such as plant blindness are keeping humanity far from the deep comprehension of the plant kingdom that would be needed to truly consider it as an active agent - which it could be - in building a more sustainable and safe future. Notably, the root systems of plants are usually ignored and neglected but actually hold a crucial role both in looking into the well-being of plants and in the plant's impact on the soil and general environment. Cities, as prominent settings of human life on the planet, are obliged to play a role in weaving new dynamics and relations among all their ``citizens,`` regardless of the species. The research is set in the context of Critical Plant Studies, with the goal of including design in the interdisciplinary dialogue around how humans think about, imagine, describe, and interact with vegetal life, focusing on the city as a frontier field for change. Botany (specifically botanical taxonomy), being the discipline focusing on the study, classification, naming, and organization of plants, could provide design with the base knowledge and frameworks to comprehend and interact with the plant kingdom (with a specific focus on the root system). This intersection would enable participatory design practices as tools for the contrast of botanical illiteracy (difficulties dealing with the identification, description, and comprehension of plants), plant blindness and the subsequent neglect of the vegetal kingdom, thus resulting in the activation of a virtuous cycle of perception - cognizance - comprehension- familiarity - awareness and care of the green component of the city's population, starting from language.

Rizzi Greta

Exploring the Ethical Dimension of Human-AI Co-Design in the Design Creative Development Process

The recent developments of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have affected several professional domains, including the Cultural and Creative Sectors (CCS), acting on the entire artifact value chain (European Commission, 2022). More specifically, the emergence of generative AI systems that simulate human creativity has drawn attention to 'Computational Creativity' (CC) (Vartiainen &Tedre, 2023), pushing toward the automation of creative processes (Särmäkari &Vänskä, 2022), with the potential to overwhelm the fashion industry as well, particularly in the creative development phase, where inspirations are translated into design features (Bertola et al., 2018). Despite optimistic AI implementation scenarios, the AI risks regarding cultural-historical biases, data privacy (Vartiainen &Tedre, 2023), and materials originality (Pansoni et al., 2023) should be investigated further. In the design area, the growing capacities of generative AI tools have started to trace the path towards a very close form of collaboration between designers and AI. At the same time, some ethical issues are emerging within the human-centered AI research field, highlighting some of the criticalities of human-AI co-creativity, addressing both the debate on the creative nature of AI-generated content and the danger of replacing human creators in some of their tasks (Rezwana &Maher, 2023). These critical aspects make regulating human-centered applications necessary to keep human interests and values at the center of the digitization process and to optimize AI robustness and reliability (Tocchetti et al., 2022). In this context, my research seeks to investigate the opportunities and risks associated with human-AI collaboration in design from a human-centric perspective, reflecting on how generative AI is shaping new hybrid forms of creative development and attempting to critically analyze the areas of intersection between human design process and generative AI capabilities, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the ethical discourse on the integration of AI into CCS.

Ruggiero Ludovico

Digital solutions for enabling lifecycle thinking in yacht design

The yacht industry is seeking ways to improve the sustainability of its operations. However, current vessel design and production processes do not sufficiently integrate sustainability across the full product lifecycle. This research explores digital solutions through action research in collaboration with Sanlorenzo shipyard to systematically embed lifecycle thinking into yacht design. Specifically, the key research questions addressed are: What characterizes current linear flows of physical products and information within Sanlorenzo’s design processes, and where do opportunities exist to close these loops digitally? • How can digital technologies support closing resource loops to enhance sustainability across the entire yacht lifecycle? • What design guidelines and roadmaps can be established to help both the company involved in the research and the nautical sector to apply the principles of circular economy and closed-loop product management throughout the value chain? • Through examination of Sanlorenzo’s existing lifecycle processes, linear flows will be mapped to identify where digital solutions could help integrate information across the yacht lifecycle. Prototypes of digital tools integrate information across the yacht lifecycle. Prototypes of digital tools capturing real-time performance data during vessel usage will be later co-designed with the shipyard to evaluate the sustainability impacts of alternative yacht designs informed by in-use monitoring. Then, design guidelines and Sanlorenzo roadmap will be designed in collaboration with industrial stakeholders. The research results in a roadmap for supporting the implementation of a digital platform, aiming to facilitate information management, and enabling sustainable yacht design choices through lifecycle thinking. Finally, the research evaluates how these digital tools could contribute to closing resource loops and enhancing sustainability across the entire value network. Findings will offer a reproducible approach driving continuous improvements in sustainability for yacht firms through collaborative, digitally enabled circular solutions and lifecycle-informed design choices.


Service Innovation in Food Safety Inspection: Integrating Xspectra Technology into Sustainable Product-Service Systems (S.PSS)

This study explores the integration of XSpectra technology within Sustainable Product-Service Systems (S.PSS) to drive systemic innovation in food safety inspection. Through an iterative process of design and development, the project aims to create service and business models that significantly enhance operational efficiency, transparency, and sustainability across the food supply chain. Leveraging the real-time analysis capabilities of XSpectra, this interdisciplinary approach facilitates the development of solutions that meet regulatory standards and consumer expectations for safety and environmental responsibility.
By prototyping, testing, and refining in response to stakeholder feedback, the project embodies a dynamic exploration of how advanced technology can be embedded into sustainable services, contributing to a more resilient and eco-friendly food chain. This collaboration seeks to generate actionable insights and scalable frameworks, underscoring the transformative potential of integrating cutting-edge technology with service design principles.



Design driven and managerial driven participatory strategies for the “museum of proximity” in postpandemic times

The dramatic increase in challenges pushed museums to shift towards modern models of building communication with the audience and new strategic behavior (Freel, 2005). Design-driven participatory strategies for museums allow them to connect heritage and design, build a dialogue with innovations, stimulate the engagement of the audience, and involve stakeholders proactively in the transformation of the museum (Gregory, 2003). Managerial-driven strategies can be applied as an alternative to design-driven strategies or, in contrast, may be doubled with design-driven strategies. Museum of proximity is a key concept for overcoming the challenges of the post-pandemic period (Ramagosa, 2020; Rubiales, 2020). The proximity concept implies a broad perspective from physical closeness to a closer connection with the audience and community, cultural closeness, a sense of commitment, and shared values (Lupo, 2021). The proximity concept suggests stakeholder engagement along the whole value chain of museums (Lupo, 2021). The museum of proximity approach should be led by stakeholders’ behavior, which is understood as a quantitative-quantitative measure of their perceptions, expectations, and requests. So far, it is vital to understand which practices of the museum of proximity creation get a favorable response from the public engagement of the audience and stakeholders. The study aims to examine how design-driven and managerial-driven strategies for a ‘participatory continuum of proximity’ can be built based on audience and stakeholders’ positive responses. The original contribution of the study is the development of the museum of proximity concept, approaching it through the study of the positive behavior of museum stakeholders and creating a recommendation for the museum professionals to make the better application of the knowledge about stakeholders’ behaviors in participatory strategies.



E-textiles eco-design strategies toward circularity and sustainability

This Ph.D. proposal aims to explore the potential of e-textiles to revolutionize the sportswear industry by enhancing functionality, comfort, and sustainability. Particularly focus on investigating the convergence of e-textile technology and sustainable innovation in sportive smart fashion design. Key objectives include interdisciplinary collaboration, assessing the potential of e-textiles, developing prototypes, evaluating environmental impacts, and proposing design frameworks. Research questions delve into sustainable materials, user-centered design, and eco-design strategies. The methodology involves a literature review, case studies, an LCA approach, and research through design. Through a multidisciplinary approach, this research aims to make significant contributions to both the fields of smart fashion design and sustainable approach.


Materials for Care and Well-being. Developing living organisms as biofabricated textiles with healthcare functions

The yacht industry is seeking ways to improve the sustainability of its operations. However, current vessel design and production processes do not sufficiently integrate sustainability across the full product lifecycle. This research explores digital solutions through action research in collaboration with Sanlorenzo shipyard to systematically embed lifecycle thinking into yacht design. Specifically, the key research questions addressed are: What characterizes current linear flows of physical products and information within Sanlorenzo’s design processes, and where do opportunities exist to close these loops digitally? • How can digital technologies support closing resource loops to enhance sustainability across the entire yacht lifecycle? • What design guidelines and roadmaps can be established to help both the company involved in the research and the nautical sector to apply the principles of circular economy and closed-loop product management throughout the value chain? • Through examination of Sanlorenzo’s existing lifecycle processes, linear flows will be mapped to identify where digital solutions could help integrate information across the yacht lifecycle. Prototypes of digital tools integrate information across the yacht lifecycle. Prototypes of digital tools capturing real-time performance data during vessel usage will be later co-designed with the shipyard to evaluate the sustainability impacts of alternative yacht designs informed by in-use monitoring. Then, design guidelines and Sanlorenzo roadmap will be designed in collaboration with industrial stakeholders. The research results in a roadmap for supporting the implementation of a digital platform, aiming to facilitate information management, and enabling sustainable yacht design choices through lifecycle thinking. Finally, the research evaluates how these digital tools could contribute to closing resource loops and enhancing sustainability across the entire value network. Findings will offer a reproducible approach driving continuous improvements in sustainability for yacht firms through collaborative, digitally enabled circular solutions and lifecycle-informed design choices.


Expanding the multi-sensory interaction of virtual reality users in the metaverse through computer-aided design

Although the metaverse virtual reality industry is booming and costeffective performance of oculus quest 2 has increased the popularity of virtual reality, large number of users are losing due to the weak immersion experience, single behavioural interaction method, limited sensory equipment, high price and health burden from long time use. The research proposal focuses on the direction of sensory devices, with the goal of reducing the sensory limitations imposed by traditional HMD head-mounted devices and expanding the research on sensory virtual reality auxiliary devices through Arduino and computer-aided design in order to enhance the user experience in various virtual reality environments. Secondly, the research on the multi-sensory interaction technology of VR needs to be further deepened. a) Firstly, there are three aspects. In sensory exploration, it is necessary to explore the diverse applications of existing senses and discover new senses. The difficulty of multisensory interaction research is the method to make more senses involved in VR experience and control the collaboration between multiple senses. Meanwhile, simplified direction needs to combine the required senses in a more efficient and modular way for the target application scenario. b) The second is to increase product affordability. The goal is to reduce the cost of sensory modelling, making novel virtual senses accessible to the average user. c) Next, there is an urgent need to explore new locations and methods of wearing sensory equipment, and to balance the number of devices and the burden on the body of multisensory simulations. Expected outcomes 1. To investigate new forms of application of one or more existing senses, or to discover unexplored virtual senses, or to discover new senses that have not been defined. 2. To research the interaction between the new senses and the existing VR senses, and filter out multi-sensory combinations with commercial potential, and then find more suitable application areas. 3. Design prototypes of new virtual reality sensory aids to reduce the price of such sensory products while maintaining user comfort as much as possible.

Cycle 38

November 2022 – October 2025

Elena Albergati

Biotinkering with living and interactive materials for a regenerative designed future: methods, tools and spaces

Elena is a PhD student whose research focuses on the intersection between Design and Bioengineering. She is studying the possibility of creating sustainable and innovative materials starting from living organisms such as fungi, algae, and bacteria. She is fascinated by the idea of developing interactive products through collaboration with living matter. She is also creating a detailed methodology, called ``Bio UX``, to help bio designers study the integration of living organisms into products.

Nicola Besana

Co-designing Big Data - Dashboards to improve tourism management in Italy

The research explores how Dashboard Design, based on Big Data, can assist policy and decision-makers in the Italian public administration to redesign and promote Smart Tourism services. The project takes a human-centered design approach to ensure that the needs of multiple end-users and stakeholders - especially those at the Ministry of Tourism - are incorporated into the dashboard's development process.

Beatrice Bianchini

Planning and design of active and sustainable mobility: definition of tools and transport models

My research aims to respond to the growing needs of new user-centered planning and design of the cities, whose accessibility is linked to ``essential vital needs`` located a short distance, on foot or by bicycles. The goal is to provide capillary cycle paths for sustainable means of transport, dedicated services, support tools (such as decision support systems) and maps, as well as incentives and promotion to improve safety, health and well-being within a sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP).

Polina Bobrova

Design of blockchain-based wearables for mental health monitoring and support

This study investigates the development of wearables powered by blockchain for the management and monitoring of mental health issues like anxiety and depression. The study uses human-centered design principles to create wearables that are cognizant of patients' mental health needs while also ensuring that the data gathered is secure, private, and useful for doctors and therapists.

Beatriz Bonilla Berrocal

Design-led Approaches for Socially Sustainable SMEs: Cultivating Social Innovation within Corporate Culture

From a design perspective, this research explores the possible approaches to measure social innovation inside a corporate environment, specifically SMEs. The investigation aims to apply participatory design principles to develop strategies that align with the corporate environment and needs, to help analyze and measure how social innovation could support responsible transformation through design.

Alessandra Caroline Canfield Petrecca

Design for Socio-Ethical Sustainability of Product Service Systems (PSS) and Distributed Economy(DE) in and for a Digital Transition

Sustainable PSS is an offering model in which providers assume responsibility for products and services. This model especially if combined with Distributed Economy can bring benefits for all 3 dimensions of sustainability. However, the contemporary social issues related to digital technology (e.g. surveillance) are not accessed by current design strategies toward sustainability. The research aims to equip designers with the knowledge and know-how needed to collaborate for a more humane future.

Federica Caruso

Reshaping Meta-design fostering social and cultural innovation for more inclusive products

The research aims to create a framework that can break the cycle of exclusion within product design and foster social and cultural innovation by embracing the full spectrum of human diversity.
The cycle of exclusion in product design refers to a recurring pattern where certain groups of people are systematically marginalized or overlooked in the design process. This can result in products that do not adequately meet the needs of diverse users or cater to their unique preferences and requirements.
Embracing the full spectrum of human diversity means acknowledging and valuing the individual differences, characteristics, and experiences of people from various backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, ability, socioeconomic status, and cultural heritage. The framework developed through this research would incorporate meta-design principles to enable collaboration and co-creation with diverse stakeholders. It would involve end-users, experts, and other relevant parties in the design process, ensuring their voices are heard, and their insights are integrated into the final product. By promoting social and cultural innovation, the research aims to create products that meet users' diverse needs and challenge existing norms, stereotypes, and biases.

Gabriela Fabro Cardoso

Redesigning fashion sustainable retail approaches

The area of Fashion Retail is undergoing a tech-driven transformation directly associated with the
digital and sustainable demands required by new consumption dynamics. In such context, the field
of Design embraces the challenge of stand up as an agent of change, contributing to the transformation of the Fashion System into a more sustainable paradigm. The research focuses on designing new sustainable Fashion Retail models related to community-driven consumption dynamics within the phygital context.

Alessandra Facchin

Visualising Urban Biodiversity

Projects related to urban biodiversity require an engaged community. This research addresses the questions of which audience to involve and how to inform and engage them during and after these projects. Specifically, it explores how to effectively utilise information and data visualisation design techniques, practices, and models to achieve this goal. The research also examines the possibility of training the researchers and practitioners involved to apply these practices.

Valentina Facoetti

Responsible Tourism Experiences

Her PhD research investigates how Service Design and Design for Social Innovation can enhance the positive social impact on place-based communities in new tourist destinations. The research is in collaboration with Alpitour World. The aim is to rethink the relationship between tourism companies and local communities and define a new framework for community-based responsible tourism through the participatory implementation of social impact measurement tools.

Valentina Ferreri

The Queer City. Designing inclusive public spaces through participatory and social innovative actions and practices

The research, which is part of the PNRR program and will include an internship with a Public Administration, in particular Milan Municipality, investigates the yet unexplored and possibly controversial links and potentialities between Queer studies and Design studies, with a focus on the concept of public urban space, through the role of Public Administration. The general aim is to understand and experiment the possible relationships between Design and the creation of more queer, inclusive (known the debate around the term inclusive), and hospitable cities for everyone, not designing specifically for queers, but rather queering the methodologies and processes of participatory designing with the Public Administrations and local stakeholders.

Fabio Antonio Figoli

Framing the Designer-AI Collaboration: an investigation on co-authorship ambiguity arising from generative AI Integration into the design process

Within the design field, there is a lack of a systematic comprehension of the collaborative dynamics between designers and generative AI in the design process. Given AI systems' increasing agency and autonomy, this is especially pronounced when considering the challenge of co-authorship ambiguity. Consequently, my research aims to enable designers to collaborate consciously with AI by deepening the understanding of the designer-AI collaboration, specifically through the lens of co-authorship

Gianluca Guarini

Integration of Lighting and Color Material Finishes Designin the Building Information Modelling methodology and relations with the Metaverse

The Structure and Construction field in the Design process has almost been completely digitalized in the past years. This process has been realized through the Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodology. Furthermore, in recent times BIM methodology, because of regulatory impositions, is increasingly adopted, especially in public tenders. Unfortunately, today's Lighting Design does not yet have a dedicated space within the tools used in the BIM process. Color material and Finish (CMF) Design, which is strictly correlated with Lighting Design, is also poorly developed in the BIM process. The research aims to develop tools that allow to integrate the procedures used in the Lighting Design theory and in the CMF design into a future single-BIM environment methodology. Another aim is to provide valuable options for helping manufacturers and professionals to envision the future of lighting design methodology. Visualization is one important output from the BIM process. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are possible tools available for this purpose that have increasing diffusion, while the Metaverse is a new field to be explored. As a further possible development, the research proposes to evaluate possible relations between Lighting Design, CMF Design, and this emerging reality.

Li Chengjun

Meaningful Material Education in Design during the Post-Industrial Era

Chengjun Li's Ph.D. research, funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council, focuses on the integration of materials education, design, and craft, specifically highlighting their inherent values and potential in the context of sustainability. The research seeks to advance materials education by linking materials design knowledge with craft and DIY practices. It aims to develop new teaching models centered on material experience, teaching materials, and tools that empower students to explore materials and crafts and gain new perspectives, leading to positive societal, environmental, and personal impact in the post-industrial era.

Rossella Locatelli

Temporary design futuring

Framing design practice as relational and re-directional and its connections with the concept of futuring, the research investigates the possibilities of redefining temporary exhibition design for events by exploring sustainable approaches, tools, methods, and management systems. In this context, futuring can outline a methodological framework in which design practice contributes to envisage a dimension of exhibition, staging and overlay design that broadens the way we think about sustainability and includes innovative initiatives, from circular economies to open design models.

Eva Monestier

De-centering the subject to design regenerative futures. Towards the definition of post-anthropocentric creativity to empower the Design Futures process and anticipate regenerative futures for humans and nonhumans

Post-anthropocentrism is calling for new design approaches and demanding radical mind-shifts to ensure more just and inclusive futures for both humans and non-humans. Humans, indeed, must acknowledge their intrinsic entanglement within the complex network of interrelations connecting people, technologies, and nature to critically reconsider their anachronistic conception of being the sole actors in the world-system. In this scenario, it becomes crucial to creatively envision preferable futures including multiple perspectives.
The research aims at identifying the creativity factors that might allow the theorizing of a post-anthropocentric form of creativity to empower Design Futures as a future-oriented approach to design regenerative futures for human-nonhuman assemblages.

Enrica Monticelli

The role of strategic design in driving the ecological transition in a multinational company

The research is aimed to develop more knowledge around the critical role that strategic design plays in supporting the successful implementation of sustainable design theories within a complex multinational structure. A shift towards including radical new value propositions may require profound redefinitions of organizational models, networks, and capabilities. Understanding first the most common development pathways to embed the Eco design Guidelines in the corporate strategy, then defining the proper framework and design competencies required to deploy more systemic sustainable innovation, like Product-service Systems, will be the focus of Ph.D. research.

Laura Pirrone

The role of design in fostering smart and circular strategies in waterborne passenger urban mobility ecosystems

The research aims to investigate how design strategies can support the stakeholders of the waterborne passenger urban mobility ecosystem in fostering the transition towards a circular economy model enabled by new digital technologies.
``Waterborne passenger urban mobility`` refers to the public transport of people through waterways in urban contexts. This topic will be addressed through a systemic and holistic perspective, which considers the complex interactions among all the stakeholders.

Michela Rossi

Making complexity accessible. Communication design tools and languages for a democratic access to information

The research focuses on exploring the tools and languages of Communication Design to enhance the access and understanding of public interest information and promote inclusive representation of information in the context of public institution communication. The research is funded through the PNRR and conducted in partnership with the Municipality of Milan and PROJEKT – Université de Nîmes (France).

Benedetta Rotondo

New product development design for sustainable innovation, in collaboration with De'Longhi Appliances S.r.l.

To safeguard the planet and ensure a better future for the next generations, a change in the way we produce, consume and live is required. Companies and designers are therefore called to action by implementing new product development (NPD) strategies for sustainable innovation.

Adopting a design thinking approach, the research focuses on reviewing the De'Longhi's NPD process guiding the company towards the design of sustainable appliances and fostering efficient collaboration across departments.

Lia Sossini

Framing a new identity of sustainable materials design - Analysis of the aesthetic-sensorial properties and CMF design to influence sustainable behavior

In a context that is increasingly aware of sustainability issues, the research intends to focus on the application of what are defined as 'sustainable materials'. Specifically, the Ph.D. project investigates the aesthetic-sensorial perception of sustainable materials through CMF design in relation to sustainable behavior. The aim is to clarify the meaning of 'sustainable material' and define its aesthetic-sensorial properties.

Hang Su

Design for Environmental Sustainability in the Digital Era. The Design of S.PSS & DE for a Sustainable Digital Transition

Under the context where digital transition presents both emerging risks and opportunities recently, his research focuses on exploring the new knowledge base to systematically understand the roles of Sustainable product-service system (S.PSS) and Distributed economy (DE) in the digital era, and how to design S.PSS & DE in and for a more sustainable digital transition, especially in environmental dimension.

Sui Yi

Investigating the shape-change material in behavioral product design scope boosting innovative user experience

Her research is to explore and integrate the design-based strategies concerning shape-change material, behavioral products, and human-product interaction in order to develop systematic design approaches or tools that designers can use to build a dynamic, intuitive, empathetic, and positive human-product relationship.

Yu Qing

Curating the international exhibition in the field of architecture and design as a way to explore and promote social innovation - The case of the 24th Triennale Milano International Exhibition

I see exhibition design as a vehicle for exploring the role of cultural institutions as catalysts for social innovation. From the point of view of the researcher as a critical agent, to see how design for social innovation can take action and intervention in cultural institutions in the field of architecture and design, both internally and externally (urban interior in the city of Milan and Melbourne), through the dimensions of institutional critique, curatorial practice and exhibition design.

Chenfan Zhang

Design for Community Development in Villages

This research proposal explores design for social innovation and community-centred design, with a focus on community development in villages. The study explores the strategies and processes in this field defining design as an approach to achieve social innovation, while focusing on the design's capability and potential to promote long-term community development.

Cycle 37

November 2021 – October 2024

Francesca Antinarelli Freitas

High jewelry meets sustainability

The research focuses on the sustainability for the high jewelry sector. In particular, it investigates the relationship between the high jewelry brand Bulgari and sustainability issues. The aim of the research is to provide guidelines to facilitate sustainable practices in the jewelry supply chain of Bulgari. The research involves the environmental, social and economic sustainability analysis and the identification of critical issues and opportunities for Bulgari.

Elena Aversa

The age of “visualization disorders”

Within the current participatory media landscape fostering the infodemic, the research explores the ways information visualizations can -with or without the intention to- mislead and deceive during social crises. The focus is on information visualizations circulating on social media platforms about Covid-19 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The research encourages the discussion around the un-neutrality of information visualizations by developing a theoretical framework which defines and classifies the types of ``visualization disorders``.

Silvia Cantalupi

Political Spaces.

What is a ‘political space’? What could it be? And what role does a spatial designer play in defining and envisioning such a place? Trying to answer these questions, the research aims to generate a definition of ‘political space’ in Western urban cosmo-local contexts and to open a discussion around the role of spatial design practitioners in the field.

Silvia D'Ambrosio

Beyond Urban Regeneration: social transitions for the city of proximity

The PhD project aims to explore and frame the emerging themes and initiatives related to the city of proximity based on the spread of new hybrid communities and enabling platforms that are rapidly impacting the urban environment and defining new ways of living in the cities by enhancing new relational hybrid proximities. The PhD aims to investigate transformative social innovations through Systemic Service Design and Relational Design by supporting and guiding collaborations and relationships.

Mariagiovanna Di Iorio

Design approach innovating fashion retail. Social, cultural and technological challenges

Disruptive socio-political, cultural, and technological changes are transforming everything known. According to this scenario, are fashion consumption cultures still surviving? In which direction has the relationship between fashion products, services and consumers and territories evolved? What are the drivers of change and innovation? How does design relate to innovation processes in fashion retail? Which ones are his interlocutors? What are the skills and competencies needed for the designer to take part in meaningful social, cultural, economical and technological innovation processes in fashion retail?

Rachele Didero

Design Innovation: High Tech and Ethics

The scope of the research is to design innovative products from a technological and ethical point of view by investigating problems of our present that will shape our future. The first goal, focused on privacy, is twofold: to protect facial biometric data and create awareness of the improper use of facial recognition technology, a problem which, if neglected, could freeze the rights of the individual. We are working on a textile woven with a protective algorithm to prevent the citizens' biometric data from being collected.

Sofia Soledad Duarte Poblete

Emerging Materials for the Ecological Transition

The research focuses on enabling design practitioners and entrepreneurs in accelerating and scaling up “emerging materials for the ecological transition” (understood as biobased, waste-based and biofabricated), from their ideation, design and development to their meaningful use in sustainable product design applications. Furthermore, through a Material-Driven Design approach, it explores their materials experience, their features and how these all influence the degree of acceptance by users.

Sultan Serpil Erdonmez

Designing for and within the Care Ecosystems: A Personalized Healthcare System for Chronic Care

The research topic is about answering the need for people-centered chronic care, by enhancing the capacity of care ecosystems providers for resource integration/ activations in the context of service design. The research aim is to use and bring the service design practices in order to define and integrate the resources to provide a change for and within the care ecosystem.

Lorenzo Goldaniga

Design for longevity in textile industry

The scope of this research is to demonstrate that through the design strategies, the textile industry can intercept the needs of users interested in green themes, who also pretend performances by textiles; in this way, it will also be possible to involve ``non-green consumers``.
Durability is not only a matter of materials and technologies; we consider the value of design as a product life extender also based on the ``non-material properties`` of the clothes.
The intervention areas will be material strategies such as product life-cycle or non-material such as emotional durability to encourage behavioural change.

Peng Lu

Explore UX Design Strategies for Meaningful Human-Car Emotional Relationship in CAVs Contexts

With the development of Connected Autonomous Vehicle (CAV), the revolutionary technology that is considered as a driver of social sustainability, humans will become less involved in driving activities, while in-car human behavior will be diverse.
As such, the human-car relationship is bound to change disruptively, and among which, emotion is a fascinating topic. This PhD research aims to explore UX design strategies to achieve a meaningful human-vehicle emotional connection.

Yuemei Ma

A time-based approach for the social spatialization strategies in retail space design

Thanks to the media revolution, time became portable and elastic, in a culture dominated by the use of smartphones, time dissolved the boundaries between day and night, work and leisure, space and time, and the way of people's shopping and socialising. This research aims to investigate a time-based approach to develop the strategies of retail space design under the emerging smart city and digital scenarios with considering human centric and social impact to improve the quality of human-spatial interaction.

Reejy Atef Abdelatty Mikhail

Human Senses as a Parameter for Measuring Human Behavior Performance in the Interior Space

The research explores how sense-based performance in interior spaces could be understood, measured, and evaluated, in which the field of Design could create tools for measuring and customizing the experience of sense in the interior spaces. These tools will be represented as design KPIs for human behavior performance in interiors based on human senses that designers and companies could follow/use from the beginning of the design process not only in the user experience phase. Her research is filling the gap of the lack of having interior design KPIs built on sense-based performance compared to the existing KPIs related to sustainability, saving energy, etc.

Alice Paracolli

Sustainable UX Design: Assessing, defining, designing behavioral changes through a conscious use of AI-Infused objects

The PhD core is the humanisation of technology, detecting the user as the protagonist, to promote sustainable behaviour when interacting with AI- Infused Objects, considering the UX aspects of the object.
Ubiquitous computing elicits an endless range of internet-enabled devices, offering the potential to the user to be more diligent in energy use, except that it creates an ever-growing web of data-consuming objects that stay on forever. The PhD aims to set design guidelines for sustainable connected objects.

Victoria Rodriguez Schon

Unbiasing Trend Research Methodologies for Decolonizing Design Practices.

Visions of a future led by modernity standards are embedded with determinations of gender, race, and technology. This one-sided pursuit for innovation consolidates the status quo by imposing its values systemically. Trend research sets the bases for any project in most design methodologies, also based on neo-colonial ideals. Decolonizing this practice is imminent to obtain a plural future that represents multiple realities, breaking the imperial predominance that this discipline seizes today.

Xiaolin Shen

Service Design to promote a systemic and transformational perspective of well-being

Her research topic is ``Service Design to promote a systemic and transformational perspective of well-being,`` especially for multi-level (individual and collective) and sustainable (long-term impact) well-being in the context of public services. Her research aims to use Service Design to adopt and reach toward a systemic perspective of well-being to facilitate public services transformation.

Elena Spadoni

Improving users' experiences of museums exhibitions through digital technologies

The research topic concerns the thematic of “improving Users’ Experience of museum exhibitions through Digital Technologies”. Up to date, the main focus of her research refers to the possibility to define guidelines and implement tools that can be suitable for supporting the Co-Design between different actors, of digital, interactive, immersive, and multisensory experiences in the context of GLAM exhibitions.

Melania Vicentini

Future workplace patterns

In relation to the needs emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic, the research aims to analyze and define a taxonomy of future workplace patterns and their role in the urban context as a place of collaboration and collision.
The doctoral research focuses on the development of the sense community between local citizens, companies, and employees from a spatial design perspective.

Yi Zhang

Sound design and narratives for museums and temporary exhibitions

Nowadays the digital technology in museums and temporary exhibitions is one of the most important aspect able to improve the narrative and engage the audience. In particular this research proposal is focused on the design of the sound intended both as a content (museums and temporary exhibitions on sounds, music or movie subjects) and as a tool of narratives (the sound as a way to express contents). This research aims at studying how the sound system in museums can be an interesting field of experimentation for exhibition designers and interaction designers in envisioning new models of immersive cultural experiences.

Yang Zhao

Hospice in the community of proximity

The research project aims to achieve better hospice care by building a new collaborative service framework. It also attempts to use this collaborative caregiving process as a service encounter to build closer interpersonal relationships and strengthen community proximity.

Cycle 36

November 2020 – October 2023

Antonio Aiello

From the spoon to the city``: the encounter between design, architecture, technology and industry in the work of some of the protagonists of milanese polytechnic professionalism between the 1930s and 1970s.

The historical framework of Italian design is not only linked to icons and masters, but is made up of a plurality of professionals, projects and companies that are united by the polytechnic culture, that complex cultural milieu between humanistic knowledge, science, technology and business. The aim of my research project is to study the polytechnic culture by highlighting the work of designers who have been part of it and who have not been sufficiently studied until now.

Luca Alessandrini

Organic waste upcycling through online platforms empowered by material design

This research aims to create an “organic waste network/platform” able to supply waste and biodegradable products that could be turned into “raw materials”. In this regard, the research will focus on the identification, classification and mapping of a series of waste products with properties that enable them to be reintegrated in scalable production processes and to create new sustainable materials suitable for design and consumption products.

Andrea Benedetti

Design for friction. slowing down the production and consumption of data in and through design interventions.

Efficient design can be used to solve problems in our society and technology, as a ubiquitous part of our society, is a cultural expression that is embedded in it. The PhD focuses on how user interfaces and data have a discursive role in portraying and interpreting society, while constructing a system in which designers don’t have the right tools to consider the political power of the platforms they design, and not all users have the right knowledge to act on what they inadvertently produce.

Ambra Borin

Living cities as commons. From short-term actions to long-term change in urban frameworks

The research proposal explores design for Social Innovation and Spatial Design aiming at increasing social well-being in heterogeneous city-frames, made up of different users and communities and at supporting creative temporary actions for the long-term regeneration of commons. Expected result is the development of guidelines for policy makers and for citizens to promote new city-making scenarios, through legacy of actions as a distinctive quality.

Daniela D'Avanzo

Orientation systems in public spaces

The doctoral research is aimed at studying the orientation processes in general terms and, in particular, in urban public places. The research question stems from the observation of the inadequacy of current orientation systems, mostly entrusted to signage artifacts that do not always respond efficiently to the needs of users.

Tatiana Efremenko

Implementing circular economy framework to design new participation system for community-led projects in cities

The research project aims to explore how the circular economy framework is used by community-led projects on the local scale, and identify its mechanisms to activate new participation systems and, thus, establish long-lasting behaviors in activism. The goal of the research is to design and implement a participation model for facilitation and support of community-led projects, as well as build a theoretical framework for the social dimension of circular economy in the urban context.

Alessandro Ianniello

Post-imaginative design: the emergence of imaginative frameworks. How to frame and engage processes of imagination in designed transitions towards technologically sustainable futures

Different scholars affirm that we are living the transition from the Information Age to the Imagination Age, in which creativity and imagination are going to become the most relevant drivers and skills for every human activity, to address a shrinking landscape of wicked issues, to live in a fast changing technological society. The research will investigate the role of imagination in shaping design models and approaches suitable to achieve sustainable transition towards responsible futures.

Mattia Italia

Analysing sustainable materials for the realisation of a selection method for new, innovative sustainable packaging material

The main goal of the PhD is to develop a material selection method for the packaging sector capable to meet both the need and the request of different stakeholders (like producer, environment and final users) and to use the Strategic Design theories and tools to foresee already in the selection stage long-term strategies for the company related to the introduction and use of a new sustainable material.

Zijun Lin

Speculative services

This doctoral research aims to propose a framework for the theory and practice of Speculative Services by combining Speculative Design and Service Design and integrating the System Oriented Design. In the context of transformation to an inclusive society, the Speculative Services approach enables policymakers and civics to understand, explore, discuss and reflect on the topic of social exclusion to promote the inclusive development of society.

Giulia Lo Scocco

Maglieria digitale. Strumenti di progettazione e prototipia 2d e 3d nell’industria della maglieria. Metodologie e ricerca per l’innovazione della filiera produttiva italiana

To develop a complementary methodology to support Knitwear latest technological innovations including predictive modelling softwares.

Erin McAuliffe

Crafting policy: a design-led framework for policy-making in complexity

The research proposes to reconcile the contributions of the design, systems and complexity science, and public policy fields to articulate a non-linear framework of policy-making that addresses the limitations of existing ‘stage-based’ models. Subsequently, the research seeks to understand the elements of the ‘policy craft’ and the organisational transformation necessary to systematically embody and enact the framework.

Alessia Romani

Design, materials and additive manufacturing in circular economy contexts

Although digital technologies and sustainability are assuming a key role for the design of new artifacts, their integration in the design practice is still challenging. My PhD research aims to investigate the link between design, materials and additive manufacturing for sustainability. Thanks to a design engineering experimental approach, new materials from wastes and emerging design strategies for 3D printing will be analyzed to develop new tools for their integration in the design practice.

Beatrice Rossato

Shaping augmented bodies. An analysis of the role of design in modeling fashionable prosthesis and orthosis for human body's well-being

The research project is part of a study context that analyzes the relationships between objects and the body. It want to respond to the growing tendency of hybridization between the body and artifacts that amplify its performance, monitor its conditions or, in general, interact with it. Particular attention is paid to those devices that aim at the well-being of the human body and, specifically, the research investigates the role of the fashion designer in their design.

Roberta Spada

Media artefacts and the museum: exploring the narratives of the italian technoscientific heritage at the national science and technology museum Leonardo da Vinci

My research is co-funded by the Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan and it bridges Science and Technology Studies, Museum Studies, and Design. It aims at understanding how narratives about media objects in the collections are constructed and negotiated in and out of the museum, in relation to the objects’ multiple roles in technoscientific heritage, as design objects and historical artefacts, and in communities of people, companies, and institutions.

Angelica Vandi

Engaging with cultural heritage: technologies and processes for the dissemination and increased use of heritage in fashion

The research aims at understanding how the digital sphere could be experienced and exploited to augment the cultural value of fashion heritage, investigating how the diffusion of culture could be promoted and fostered in the fashion sector in light of the digital transformation and the pervasiveness of networks and social media platforms.

Mansu Wang

Digital technologies and virtual reality for the valorisation of architectural heritage

The application of Digital Technologies and Virtual Reality to the valorisation of architectural heritage will break through the limitations of traditional protection methods and make architectural heritage live through digital preservation. My research will take Chinese architectural heritage as an example to find a new way for the protection and development of architectural heritage.

Ming Yan

User acceptance implications of hmi in autonomous vehicles on the role of interaction design within avs

With the improvement of automation, due to the lack of communication with human road users (HRU), people are worried about sharing streets with AVs, which hinders users' acceptance of this technology and leads to security risks.Therefore, this research aims to explore the design potential of HMI in AVs to increase user acceptance of the technology.

Cycle 35

November 2019 – October 2022

Gianluca Carella

Overcoming resistances to adopt design thinking: how to support SMEs in Design Thinking adoption

Many organizations in recent years have used design thinking as a competitive leverage. However, very often this adoption refers to a partial absorption of design within the company. There are still many doubts about how to really integrate it, avoiding that it becomes a temporary adoption with short-term impacts. PhD research will investigate what are the inertial factors that do not get design thinking off the ground, being not able to fully integrate it inside organisational processes.

Giuseppe Carmosino

``Smart ships in a new digital era.
How smart technologies are radically changing the spatial design of new cruise ships

The significant premise of the research is the transition in the cruise sector from 'Fun ships' to 'Smart ships'. The general aim of the doctoral thesis is to investigate the development of the interior design of the common spaces in cruise vessels, with a focus to the supply of digital technologies and smart materials in these areas and their contribution to the information and the entertainment of the customers, in the perspective of a better sustainable process in vessel design.

Martina Carraro

Designing human-artificial governance models at the city scale. Data driven urban analysis&control and the new emergent service systems

Within a digitalized global ecosystem, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies transform cities into metabolic services systems, that can be controlled by a data-driven technological infrastructure. The design discipline is fundamental to materialize new collaborative city scenarios, where to rethink the human-artificial relation. Within this emerging scenario the doctoral research has the aim of imagining a new experimental service design model of action.

Jing Chen

Multi-dimensional Sense of home shaping for the elderly with dementia in long-term care Institutions

Further research is needed to determine if and how the identified factors are interrelated and how the factors can be Improved in practice. This study will explore the relationship between multiple factors that affect the sense of home of the elderly with dementia from the perspective of environmental factors, and develop a more comprehensive design strategy to shape the sense of home in long-term care institution based on environmental factors.

Chiara Di Lodovico

Exploring Fashion-Tech Emerging Paradigms for Modeling Innovation Approaches towards Fashion Digital Transformation

Emergent technologies are generating profound transformations in the
fashion industry, driving a paradigm shift. Fashion SMEs are struggling in
adopting such technologies, reducing their opportunities to develop more
competitive and customer-driven actions. The PhD research will identify skill
gaps and barriers that are limiting fashion SMEs in catching digital revolution
opportunities and, accordingly, will develop methods and approaches to
support innovation.

Yang Dongfang

Design for sustainable furniture. Focusing on Sustainable Product, and Product-Service System

I work on Design for Sustainability, mainly focus on sustainable furniture. My research centers on products Life Cycle Design(LCD) and Sustainable Product-Service System(S.PSS), trying to find a solution for an unsustainable development model in the traditional furniture industry.
The research is based on Chinese and Italian background because of the representative role of the two countries both in the developing model and the motivation of sustainability.

Ammer Harb

Epistemology of Design Fiction: Towards a Speculative Approach to Innovation

Speculative Design researchers have used Design Fiction proposals and methodologies in an attempt to provoke discursive debate about future technological and socioeconomic challenges. Still, there is a room for development in the area of Design Fiction application from a participatory Human-Centred paradigm. The aim of the PhD is to investigate the Design Fiction practice as well as exploring and proposing an alternative framework for design futures using Design Fiction as a tool for innovation.

Yasuyuki Hayama

Designerly ways of leading innovation and new roles of designer

The aim of this study is to clarify how design can lead innovation in this complex world settings. Bridging business and innovation management, humanities-social scientific knowledges with design research, he is going to challenge to explore fundamentals of design to lead innovation. And also, he tries to give clearer explanations about designers’ new functions, as mediators between the different knowledge cores to produce innovation.

Vanessa Monna

Civic Design. Developing a theoretical framework to support Public Administrations to foster civic projects

Vanessa’s PhD research regards the topic of 'Civic Design', intending to build a relevant theoretical framework to be translated into tools and/or procedures to be applied into real projects. In particular, the research is exploring the meanings of the concept of 'civic', what it means to 'design civically' and how to do it, especially from the point of view of public administrations.

Barbara Pollini

Redefinition of the concept of sustainability through the lens of materials

The choice of material is a key factor in the environmental impact of both products and services; for the same reason it can also become the turning point in terms of innovation and sustainability for future productions. My PhD research is based on the redefinition of the concept of sustainability through the lens of materials and will investigate the frontiers that the project applied to the material can achieve in the definition of a new materiality.

Martina Sciannamè

AI for Positive Emotions in the Domestic Environment

In a world where Artificial Intelligence is becoming tangible, primarily according to technology-driven principles, my research aims to look for solutions to meaningfully integrate AI in our ordinary life. The approach will be cross-disciplinary, taking into account design pillars as well as innovatively intersecting Artificial Intelligence, Environmental Psychology and Emotional Design theories, to allow our domestic environment to bring positive emotions instead of frustration.

Anca Serbanescu

Narrative-based machine enculturation: practices and systems of learning of artificial intelligence based on narration

Her PhD research investigates both the innate and learned processes of knowledge, drawing on the study of neuroscience and cybernetics, with the desire to identify in which phase of the process narrative can be inserted. The will is to create a theoretical model of learning through narration, which allows artificial intelligence (AI) to fit into a specific social context, through the construction of an evolutionary experiential knowledge.

Andrea Taverna

Service Design Education Landscape – Investigating the emerging phenomenon of training in service design

The aim of the doctoral research is to investigate the emerging phenomenon of training in service design. In order to do so, the research will inquiry how the discipline is being taught and the implication of the growing demand for training in Service Design on the competences required and comprehending how changes in the education field (such as digital technologies) could benefit the process of learning. Thus, it will explore future development on the training in Service Design.

Francesco Vergani

Designerly approaches for the post Anthropocene. Triggering interdependencies in a new “Terrestrial” assemblage

The relationship between human beings and non-human agents is still extremely precarious, especially in those human settlements where urbanization and anthropization reduced the possibility of interactions with different living entities. The PhD research investigate the role of Design and its methods, approaches and tools to foster people awareness in perceiving human and non-human agents as an interdependent collective based on mutual help and care.

Cycle 34

November 2018 – October 2021

Gabriele Barzilai

Designing effective aesthetic strategies to foster user's critical thinking in intelligent-systems-users interaction

The general aim of my research is to investigate the relationship between aesthetics of interaction and user’s awareness in intelligent-systems-users interaction. In particular, I aim to study how the sensory language of interactive systems can be designed to foster user’s critical faculty, with special regard to ethical judgement and behaviour-change in the face of socially sensitive issues (e.g., energy consumption).

Erminia D'Itria

Driving a Sustainable Change in Fashion through Design.
Experimenting the role of design in the development of a Sustainable Apparel Supply Chain Model (SASCM).

The proposed doctoral research focus is the role of design in guiding the possible directions for the future development of FDfS sector: the passage through a holistic paradigm that, considering the supply chain as a continuum, can imagine a designers' mindset transformation for guiding in the development of an alternative, circular, and sustainable apparel supply chain model within the fashion context.

Beatrice Gobbo

An aesthetic approach to explainable machine learning models on text and images classification biases

The research will develop a methodological framework aimed at raising awareness among non-expert users of biased machine learning models.
The research will explore the relationship between communication design and explainable machine learning applied to automatic classification of text or picture. Being machine learning models for text and images classification frequently biased due to mental models and personal experience of experts that train them, the research will investigate how data visualisation and communication design can funnel the perception of reliance and doubt.

Ingrid Calvo Ivanovic

Colour Design Training Itinerary, an Integrated Framework for the Teaching and Learning of Colour in the Design Discipline

My research proposes the development of a Colour Design Training Itinerary as a complete educational framework (intended learning outcomes, contents, methodology, teaching and learning activities, and assessment strategies) that sets out different levels of action for the teaching and learning of colour in the design discipline. This is being done with special attention to observation and direct experience as a way to inspire the consideration of colour phenomena within the design practice.

Marta Elisa Cecchi

Designing Atmospheres: A different perspective on how to conceive engaging ambiances in temporary exhibition spaces

Her doctoral research aims to understand and decode ‘atmosphere’ as a particular spatial condition and to elaborate an interpretation of the atmospheric phenomenon in the specific field of temporary exhibition spaces.
The project objective is to set up a codified design methodology and approach that contributes to the integration of the concept of atmosphere within exhibition environment design and to build a reference lexicon to establish a better understanding of the exhibition space.

Clorinda Sissi Galasso

Designing mnemotopes. Communication systems for the geolocalized memory of places

Communication Design can provide new answers to the search for a conceptual resolution between the ideas of 'places of memory' and 'memory of places', focusing on the notion of mnemotope. The term lexically resolves this source of tension and mnemotopes can be considered culturalized object of territorial interpretation. Design for mnemotopic communication, founded on map-based systems, can interpret memory of places and succeed in translating and reactivating territorial stratifications.

Huang Li-Ting

From Touchpoints to Turning Points: Building a Sustainable Business Model by Service Design

Touchpoints are one of the essential aspects of service design. In our daily life, services are delivered via multiple touchpoints. The turning point is the time at which a situation starts to change significantly, and it could happen under innovation. Nowadays, cities are operating based on ‘take-make-disposal’ system, and the waste is hastily disposed to landfill or incineration. The urgent action is needed to implement a model that fosters technological, social and organizational innovation for sustainability. In the light of this, then circular economy is seen as a potential solution to design out waste. My doctoral research will focus on how can we use service design to disrupt sustainable business models and system structures.

Jiang Jixiang

Design for social innovation in public space in urban and rural areas

Modern design, no longer the design of “objects”, has transformed into a kind of design strategy. China is confronted with the imbalanced urban-rural development, but the modern design has not yet studied in-depth China’s rural society or urban-rural relationship. The monotonous design practice lacks its due audience in the countryside, and the existing theories and analysis of rural design are far from satisfying. His PhD research is focuses on studying the possibility of sustainable interactive strategy of China’s urban-rural resources from the perspective of design. To be more specific, to research on the inclusive and sustainable space design that strengthens the interaction between urban and rural areas.

Francesco Leoni

Empowering Evidence-Based Policy Design Approaches for City Governance. Integrating A Design For Policy Perspective With Open And Big Data Processing And Visualization

The research will develop a methodological framework aimed at innovating processes of understanding, analysis and development for policy making in urban ecosystems. In order to do so, the research will investigate the emerging field of “design for policy”, specifically by looking at the role of digital data and technologies for their interpretation and visual representation.

Vittorio Linfante

A new Grammar of Italian fashion. Design-driven strategies to support a new (eco) system of the Italian fashion

The research project intends to investigate and to redefine the role of design as a central element for the development of a renewed Italian fashion system, not only thanks to new technologies but also to a broader political vision.
Design therefore as a motor to redefine a set of processes, capable of giving new life to the fashion sector and thus favouring the re-birth of Made in Italy epicentres capable of generating new ecosystems (linked to the educational, the production and the cultural systems) and thus realize a renewed Italian creative economy.

Emilio Lonardo

MindScapes - Transdisciplinary bridges for urban interior projects

By electing the urban space as a metaphor of the space of the mind, it’s clear how in many authors of the psychoanalytic world, as Ernest Hartmann, the processes of representation and metaphorization are in themselves processes of growth, development and change. Hence, the internalization of the point of view of other authors (e.g. Massimo Recalcati, Massimo Schinco), can contribute to the introduction of new visions and to the evolution of tools and methods in the design of public spaces.

Claudia Mastrantoni

Public Interiors as Infrastructures of Seamlessness

The doctoral research contributes to the discussion about relationships between Spatial and Service Design and how these two disciplines can interact to achieve more complexity within the context of Public Interiors: empowering the spatially contained environments inside civic buildings, institutions, cultural buildings, mobility infrastructures; threshold between the urban public and the private context, enhancing it actions of spatial design, building relation to services and programs.

Francesca Mattioli

Teaching and learning in culturally plural teams: Collaborative learning practices and experiences in plural classes

I am researching on the topic of collaborative design-based learning in culturally plural Higher Design Education settings because I want to find out how this formative experience fosters the students’ acquisition of intercultural collaborative competences. The ultimate aim of my research is to help design teachers and instructors to understand how the implementation of teaching strategies could contribute to integrate these competences within design-based learning courses.

Flavia Papile

Material selection method: an agile and holistic approach

The material selection process affects design decisions to the very early beginning. The use of a specific material instead of others implies consequences at every level of the production flow. A proper material selection.
This activity is not as simple as it may seem and it is often considered as tedious and time-consuming task to execute. Moreover, it becomes more articulated when the theme of material substitution occurs.

Mila Stepanovic

Behavioural change by persuasion. Shaping digital technologies trough design fiction to foster individual and social challenges

The PhD research investigates the importance of design as enabler of technology in development of digital products for behavioural change and in envisioning scenarios able to face new societal challenges. A research through design approach based on design fiction will foresee the use of persuasive technologies for investigation of future scenarios. These scenarios will be explored with users through digital artefacts developed by exploiting new manufacturing processes.

Umair Shafqat Malik

Experiencing augmented sculptures in museum narratives. A metadata-centered workflow for interacting with different layers of location-based information and narratives through augmented reality

Even though the mass digitization of museum content is useful for creating digital libraries and making the content publically available, it is still not serving the real purpose of Cultural Heritage (CH) preservation and promotion. The aim of this project is to efficiently use the digitized museum artefacts to design new modes of interaction between people (visitors, scholars and curators) and cultural assets by linking the latter with interdisciplinary information and implementing augmented reality (AR) as a tool to promote them.

Diana Pamela Villa Alvarez

The roles of design in public policy making. A study of design practices and methods used by public sector innovation teams during early stages of the policy making process

While the design work on public services for the implementation of policies is now considered a matter of design, scholars advocate for a deeper study of the design work on informing, formulating and reframing policies. This research seeks to understand the role of design in the early stages of the policy-making process by depicting in this process the design work and methods used by public sector innovation teams from different continents.

Yang Yeqiu

Comparative Study of Interior Design Education in Higher education institution in Italy and China

The fundamental goal of interior design education is to prepare students for the profession of interior design by teaching skills and knowledge. In recent years, the interior design profession has changed significantly. Because interior designers take many different approaches to meet the demands of rapidly changing society and diverse requirements of clients, interior design education has been specialized in diverse ways (Interior Design, 2004).
The purpose of his doctoral research is to explore ways of comparing interior design education in Italy and China. The aim of study may have significant contributions to both countries and the people who are associated with interior design fields such as professors, students, professional designers and their employers. This study could be a good pilot study for testing different methods related to the construction of comparison between educational programs in different cultural backgrounds.

Zhang Ziheng

Serious game design for learning

Serious games are “games that do not have entertainment, enjoyment or fun as their primary purpose”. Serious Game designers use people’s interest in video games to capture their attention for a variety of purposes that go beyond pure entertainment. Serious game emerges playful experience, which is recognized as a way of achieving innovation and creativity. It helps people see things differently or achieve unexpected results. A playful approach can be applied to even the most serious or difficult subjects. The research now focuses on bridging the gap between serious intention and game-play experience though a game design method called ``purpose shifting``.

Cycle 33 | November 2017 - October 2020

> Claudio Calì
> Caterina Dastoli
> Siyuan Huang
> Sara Lenzi
> Andrea Giuseppe Manciaracina
> Alessandro Piazza
> Hongming Shu
> Xin Wen
> Ziyu Zhou
> Romina Santi

Cycle 31 | November 2015 - October 2018

> Sara Conte
> Shushu He
> Filipe Lima
> Zichao Nie
> Oxana Nosova
> Tu Ngoc Pham
> Christine Sakr
> Yichen Wu
> Liang Yin

Cycle 30 | November 2014 - October 2017

> Maria De Los Angeles
> Gabriele Colombo
> Marta Corubolo
> Silvia Franceschini
> Bogdan Stojanovic
> Ruta Valusyte

Cycle 29 | November 2013 - October 2016

> Sara Bergamaschi
> Giorgia Galimberti
> Han Han
> Esther Lefebvre
> Ece Ozdil
> Ricardo Saint-Clair
> Sabrina Scuri
> Annamaria Andrea Vitali

Cycle 28 | November 2012 - October 2015

> Davide Angheleddu
> Serena Camere
> Sara Chiesa
> Célia Regina Da Costa
> Sebastiano Ercoli
> Maria Rosanna Fossati
> Francesca Ostuzzi
> Daniela Petrillo
> Marco Spadafora
> Ida Telalbasic
> Danila Zindato

Cycle 27 | November 2011 - October 2014

> Patrizia Bolzan
> Nadia Campadelli
> Laura Galloni
> Natasa Ilincic
> Virginia Lucarelli
> Alessandro Mansutti
> Walter Mattana
> Lucia Filippa Parrino
> Marko Radeta
> Davide Rapp
> Jennifer Rudkin
> Anna Santi
> Zhabiz Shafieyoun
> Dongning Yan
> Jing Zhao

Cycle 26 | November 2010 - October 2013

> Alessandro Baldussu
> Giorgio Buratti
> Paola Cordera
> Paola Garbagnoli
> Laura Mata Garcia
> Elia Gatti
> Alessandro Carlo Lue’
> Giorgia Lupi
> Sara Radice
> Pietro Righi Riva
> Francesco Ruffa

Cycle 25 | November 2009 - October 2012

> Giorgio Caviglia
> Elisa Chiodo
> Müstak Cobanli Onur
> Alvim Nunes Viviane Dos Guimarães
> Eun Ji Cho
> Giacomo Miola
> Giulia Pils
> Angela Ponzini
> Liat Rogel
> Giuseppe Salvia
> Francesco Virtuani

Cycle 24 | November 2008 - October 2011

> Marco Ambrogio
> Michele Antolini
> Pelin Arslan
> Daria Cantu’
> Fabrizio Ceschin
> Shujoy Chakraborty
> Luigi Farrauto
> Elisa Lega
> Xia Liu
> Anna Lottersberger
> Patrik Pradel
> Secil Ugur
> Giulio Verago
> Valentina Vezzani
> Anna Sara Zanolla Mancini
> Fang Zhong