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CODE 84620
SEMESTER 2° Semester
SECTIONING Questo insegnamento è diviso nelle seguenti frazioni:
  • A
  • B
    Propedeuticità in uscita
    Questo insegnamento è propedeutico per gli insegnamenti:
    • Product and nautical design 9274 (coorte 2024/2025)
    • DESIGN 10176 (coorte 2024/2025)
    • PRODUCT AND COMMUNICATION DESIGN 11439 (coorte 2024/2025)


    The Basic Design Laboratory course introduces the student to the complex world of Design through a path of knowledge that helps in understanding the cultural, methodological and technical-instrumental elements that are the basis of the culture of design in the industrial design area. The teacher will be responsible for stimulating the students' curiosity and creativity, leading them to continually ask themselves how the objects around us are designed: learning to see to learn to design, convinced that the capacity for observation dictated by curiosity, which every designer should have, is at the basis of any project. Of fundamental importance will be the ex-tempore in the classroom which will focus on the practices of Basic Design (discipline developed in various schools from the Bauhaus to Ulm and taken up, among others, by Giovanni Anceschi) and which will be based on the concept of "praxi-theory" cited several times by Enzo Mari.
    “Whom is no longer able to feel amazement and wonder is already as good as dead and his eyes are incapable of seeing” (Albert Einstein)



    The aim of this course is to provide the main, basic concepts of product design and to allow students to experience the design process. The course will focus on learning about the different steps of the whole design process, from needs assessment, to product conception, to product realization, as well as assessing student progress through theoretical and practical exercises.


    The course will illustrate the foundations of theories (compositional, formal, perceptive), methods, techniques and tools of the design of artefacts - material and virtual - with reference to their philosophical and morphological characteristics. Given the theoretical-practical foundations connected to design, the student will be led to learn to "read the project" and understand its meaning.
    The objective of this foundational teaching is to provide the student, through lectures and ex-tempore classroom exercises, with the foundations of a design method that can channel the student's creativity into a meaningful and correctly designed object.
    After completing the teaching, the student will be able to:
    - have a good knowledge of the rules of composition, form and visual perception;
    - develop the design process with specific research and project methods that facilitate the identification of problems, their description and the proposal of a solution to solve them;
    - read and understand design products always starting from their archetype;
    - visualize the final result of the design project in a convincing way;


    To carry out the teaching it is necessary to have basic knowledge of representation, especially through freehand drawing.
    We also recommend some texts to read before the course (see bibliography)


    The teaching is structured in two different modes: one module reserved for theoretical in-depth lectures, and another reserved for classroom research activities, preparation of exercises and revisions. Classroom work is considered to be an essential educational moment.
    You are required to acquire specific skills for working in a team. Project groups must consist of a maximum of 4 people.
    Furthermore, students will be asked several times during the activities to discuss their work both in individual reviews and in collective reviews in which they will have to illustrate and argue the work done in front of the whole class. This is considered a fundamental formative moment for teaching.


    The course will take place alternating theoretical lessons with practical exercises to be carried out in the classroom. It will initially address the theoretical concepts of "Basic Design" developing the theories of composition at the level of shape, color and visual perception such as Johannes Itten's color theories or the Gestalt Laws.
    Some lessons will be dedicated to the ability to see and observe, learning to decontextualize and deconstruct the common objects that surround us; others will address design archetypes; still others will provide the student with useful knowledge to be able to deal with every part of the creative and design process of an object.
    The practical exercises, ex-tempore, will consist of stimulating the student's observation skills in order to concretely learn the rules of visual perception with the aim of knowing how to apply them in the final design exercise to be taken to the final exam.
    Specifically, the topics on which the lessons and exercises will focus are grouped into three sections.
    1_ Basic Design
    Theory: the Interaction of Colors, Gestalt Laws, Depth Clues, Composition Rules.
    Ex-tempore exercises in the basic design classroom.
    2_ Read the project. Theory and exercise in reading common objects starting from the concept of archetype and comparing it with designer objects.
    Formal, semantic, archetypal reading exercise.
    3_Designing: research and concept.
    Theory: The method. Basic research concepts. The archetype. The literature review. Observational research. Tools: Mind Maps & Moodboard. What is innovation. The concept.
    Exercise: Final project: in the final part of the course, students will have to undertake a final design exercise as a sensitive form project, aimed at exploring the founding principles of the design product. The path of the last exercise intends to lead the students - in the short period of four weeks of operation - to conduct an intensive experience aimed at:
    a) conceptually explore, in a subjective way, the relationship between form/perception/content through theoretical lessons and meta-design exercises;
    b) practice the exercise of rapid design - in a small group - of a concrete artefact made up of matter and meaning;
    c) conduct the experience of the material realization of the artefact as a practice of verifying the design concept and its materialization in a sensitive form - and thus activating its aesthetic functioning in the relationship of interaction with the perceiving subject and with the environmental context;
    d) verify - during the examination the results of the experimentation conducted by the project group - evaluating them in relation both to the achievement of the specific aesthetic outcomes of the process of conception, design and creation of the artefacts, and to the achievement of the learning objectives of the Basic Design teaching.


    The complexity of the topics addressed requires more detailed and timely bibliographical references which will be provided during the course of the teaching activities.
    In any case, knowledge of the following texts is considered essential:

    Bruno Munari, “Da cosa nasce cosa”. 1981, Edizioni Laterza

    Donald Norman, “La caffettiera del masochista. Il design degli oggetti quotidiani”. 2014, Giunti Edizioni.

    Furthermore, it is believed that before the start of lessons the student should get an idea of ​​what Basic Design is. In this regard, the following text is recommended:

    "Appunti di Basic Design. La Storia - I presupposti". A cura di Francesco Fumelli. Gangemi Editore spa, 2021

    In the classroom the teacher will often mention various titles and authors, for those who like it the following texts are recommended:

    Alessandra Giacardi e Massimo Ferrando, “Verba Manent conversazioni su artigianato e design con Ugo La Pietra, Riccardo Dalisi, Lapo Binazzi, Enzo Mari, Michele De Lucchi, Andrea Branzi”, 2018, Il Geko Edizioni.

    Enzo Mari, “25 modi per piantare un chiodo”. 2011; Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A.

    Andrea Branzi, “Ritratti e autoritratti di design”. 2010, Marsilio Editori

    Ugo La Pietra, “Argomenti per un dizionario del design italiano”. 1988, Franco Angeli Libri S.r.l.

    Josef Albers "Interazione dle Colore", Milano 2013.Il saggiatore Srl



    Class schedule

    The timetable for this course is available here: Portale EasyAcademy



    The student will be assessed on the basis of the following exercises and exam tests:
    1 - Basic Design – individual ex tempore – during the semester for a total value of 30% of the final grade
    2 – Read the project - group exercises – during the semester for a total value of 20% of the final grade.
    3 – Research and project – group design exercise to be taken to the final exam for a total value of 40% of the final grade.
    4 – An exercise on a book from the bibliography for a total of 10% of the final grade.
    In detail
    1. Basic design
    It is a set of approximately four ex-tempore plus a packaging exercise which are carried out individually in the classroom and possibly completed at home following the teacher's instructions and can be submitted for a definitive evaluation during the semester following the teacher's instructions. The specific evaluation methods will be explained with the presentation of the form.
    2. Read the project
    A theoretical module and exercises to be carried out in groups. The acquisition of the contents will be verified through a paper to be delivered following the teacher's indications.
    The specific evaluation methods will be explained with the presentation of the form.
    3. The project method - Research and project
    Design exercise to take to the final exam. The specific evaluation methods will be explained with the presentation of the form.
    4. Exercise that will be introduced at the beginning of the module to verify learning of the contents of a bibliography book
    What to study: 1 book from the reference bibliography which will be indicated with the presentation of the form.


    Attending procedures: to the exam it will be necessary to bring only the papers relating to the final exercise (and any missing exercises).
    Non-attending methods: to the exam it will be mandatory to bring all the exercises carried out in the classroom (Basic design, Reading the project and the papers relating to the final exercise which will be carried out individually and not in a group. Furthermore, they will be questioned orally on the bibliography and the course notes).


    It is advisable to follow all the lessons, that being said the course can be followed in ATTENDING and NON-ATTENDING modes.
    NB: Attending students are considered those who have signed their presence for at least 70% of the lesson hours carried out and who have delivered all the classroom exercises.

    Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals

    Agenda 2030 - Sustainable Development Goals
    Quality education
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Gender equality
    Affordable and clean energy
    Affordable and clean energy
    Responbile consumption and production
    Responbile consumption and production
    Climate action
    Climate action