Marita Canina (TT1 Leader)

She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Design. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Design and Design Dept at Politecnico di Milano, where she is also in charge of scientific co-ordination within and between the IDEActivity Center and the BioDesign Laboratory. The IDEActivity Center is a Center for Excellence in Creativity and Design ,whose aim is to give value to all aspects of creativity, promoting innovation through design, as well as to activate and re-enforce all phases of the “creative process” within any given context. The BioDesign Lab deals with R&D activities within medical and biological fields, providing solutions to be perceived effective by a human being, considering the human body as a starting point for Project Management, and by using new technologies to provide psycho-physical well-being. In 2006 she was PostDoc Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she contributed to a wearable technology research program for an EVA space suit (Bio-suit).

Since 2011 she has been the School of Design’s Dean’s delegate for the Enhancement of students’ projects. She keeps track of the research collaboration with the AIMS Academy (Advanced International Mini-Invasive Surgery) at the Niguarda Hospital, which is linked to the evaluation and projecting of NOTES (Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery) Surgical Instruments. She is equally busy with problem solving research projects in the fields of Bio-Robotics, Rehabilitation Devices, Wearable Devices and Pro-Active Lifestyle Systems. Her current research interests are oriented towards biodesign and tooling development, as well as methods to manage the co-design creative sessions.

She has collaborated with CEFRIEL (ICT Center of Excellence for Research, Innovation, Education & Industrial Labs) which is a consortium of the Politecnico di Milano on innovation through design, conducting projects and research programs while focusing on User Experience. Said activities were mainly conducted for SMEs. In particular, she has managed, and run, brainstorming sessions and co-design workshops and has set up the “Usability and Interaction Design Lab.”  She has laid out new T&D programs and defined scenarios for new projects.

From 1966 till 2005 she was Temporary Research Associate at the Robotics Lab. of the Politecnico di Milano, where she carried out R&D functions as BioDesigner for experimental Projects. She has worked, mainly, in Bio-Robotics System Design, whose fundamental criteria have been miniaturization, ergonomics (human engineering) and creating user friendly interfaces. She has worked on Design Integration as well as Safety in Robotics and Sensorial and Effective Robotics, with particular interest in experimental applications of MEMS.  Among the main projects: an electronically controlled lower limb prosthesis and an experimental biogenetic system for detection and comparison of motion parameters in patients affected with Parkinson’s Disease.

She has taken part in several researches, both national and European (see dedicated section); she collaborates with International Research Centres to propose researches oriented to enhance design and creativity for innovation in SMEs support.

She carries out designing and teaching activities within teaching programs for SMEs and Organizations (FONDIMPRESA, Master, High Formation Courses).

Since 2000, she has been tenured Professor for several “Industrial Products Design”courses, among which: the “Final Synthesis Workshops”.  From 1996 till 2005 she held teaching positions in courses for the Politecnico di Milano School of Engineering. She has also been active in extra-curricular activity in training projects for SMEs and for Public Administrations.

She is supervisor and assistant supervisor of several Bachelor and Master Degree theses at the School of Design and the School of Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano, some of which have led to Patent Registration, Production and have been granted due recognition in Design Competitions.  She was co-tutor of “Multidisciplinary Program Orthopedic Surgery and Robotics in 2008-2009 of the ASP (Alta Scuola Politecnica)”.

She's author of a number of foundational books on Biodesign, and of several international publications, some of which have been mentioned and awarded (i.e. Best Paper ICINCO 2005, included in Springer publication). As an inventor, she holds EU patents and models which originated from contracted research assignments.

Contact and further information


For full CV, main publications and social networks accounts, please send an email.

Role in the DiDIY Project

Leader of  the transversal dimension Creative Design Issues