Politecnico di Milano Department of Design

Politecnico di Milano (www.polimi.it) is a scientific-technological university funded in 1863, which trains engineers, architects and industrial designers. The University has always focused on the quality and innovation of its teaching and research, developing a fruitful relationship with business and productive world by means of experimental research and technological transfer.

Politecnico has been involved in the past 10 years in in-depth investigation of design driven practices in several firms in different industries, with a special focus on Italian manufacturers, i.e. those manufacturers that push radical innovation of meanings at its extreme, with significant and world-wide acclaimed success.

The most significant contribution comes from the research project “Sistema Design Italia” (Italian Design System). This 1,5 million € project, funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research and coordinated by Politecnico di Milano, involved 17 research teams in Italy, and developed 74 case studies of successful product innovations in several different industries. It was awarded the “Compasso d’oro 2001”, the most prestigious design award in Italy.

In particular POLIMI will contribute to the project through the Department of Design (http://www.dipartimentodesign.polimi.it)

The distinctive skills of Politecnico di Milano Department of Design research activities are:

- Multidisciplinary approach, which means the skill to involve in the research projects all the competences available at the Politecnico System; 

- Design driven innovation strategies, which means the ability to combine different kinds of competences and cultural domains, to be then re-designed and represented through innovation development trajectories/frameworks;

- Design thinking and design research approach, which means the skill to create tool-kits and knowledge tools linked to the project, aimed at increasing the “innovation and knowledge capital” of territories, enterprises, institutions and associations;

- Sustainable approach to the innovation, which means the skill to drive new researches and applied activities that can support the economic and social growth in Italy, Europe and at international level in partnership with universities, policy makers, enterprises and cultural bodies.

The Design Department of Politecnico di Milano was established in 2013 as an evolvement of the INDACO Department (Industrial Design, Arts, Communication and Fashion). The Design Department’s mission is to promote innovation, development and transfer of design culture and methodologies in the socio-economic system.

The Design Department ‘s research objectives:

- to act as a place of theoretical, critical, scientific, and cultural debate about the relationship between design & industry, and design & society;

- to create a system of multidisciplinary connections with the whole range of the scientific and technical skills.

The Design Department ‘s educational objectives:

- to support the School of Design and other national and international School in the development of their educational programs;

- to collaborate (at International and National level) with other public and private subjects in order to develop educational initiatives.

The Design Department has created a cluster of laboratories suitable both for didactic experimentation and for specialist research. They represent the greatest world center supporting research and didactics in design process. They occupy an area of around 10,000 square metres inside the Milan Bovisa campus. They are interlinked with the POLIteca, an integrated documenting system for design research.

Role in the DiDIY project

The aim of the Politecnico’s group is to define a model founded on design and creativity, allowing for the identification of new practices able to generate ”innovation” in social, work, educational and intellectual proprieties areas of the DiDIY.

Politecnico’group will generate tools to ease the involvement of different “users” partnering to the different areas of intervention using co-design WorkShops based on Human-centered design approaches.

Politecnico’s group tasks are common to all WPs (3, 4, 5 e 6)