POLI.design is part of the Polytechnic Design System, together with the Department of Design, the Research Doctorate in Design, the teaching and research Laboratories, and the School of Design.
Together, these institutions represent one of the most important bodies in the field of design around today in the university context on an international level.


The first degree course in Industrial Design at Politecnico di Milano was created twenty years ago, the first of its kind in Italy.

The history of the degree course in Industrial Design – from June 2000, the Faculty of Design, and today the School of Design – is characterised by the constant desire to put new innovative lines of development that correspond to the real needs of the market and of contemporary society to the test.
The Politecnico di Milano School of Design is now the largest international university for training product, communication, interior, and fashion designers, both in terms of the number of students, and in terms of the number of teachers.
It is active on two locations, Milan and Como, with two very recently built campuses. Some figures describing its extent: around 5000 students, more than 400 professors and around 400 teaching assistants, subject experts and honorary fellows; more than 900 graduates working as professional designers or employed in manufacturing and service companies.

The training courses on offer are structured around two degree levels, the Bachelor’s degree, and the two-year specialisation degree.
There are currently 4 Bachelor’s degree courses on offer (3 years):

  • Industrial Product Design (Milan and Como campuses) – Specialisation in: Product, Furnishings
  • Fashion Design (Milan campus);
  • Interior Design (Milan campus);
There are also 7 specialisation degrees on offer (2 years):
  • Product Design for Innovation (Milan campus) – Specialisation in: Product Design, Service Design
  • Communication Design (Milan campus)
  • Design for the Fashion System (Milan campus)
  • Interior design (Milan campus)
  • Design &Engineering (Milan campus) – Specialisation in: Virtual, Manufacturing, Material
  • Product Service Systems Design Italian member of the MEDes Network (Master of European Design) (Milan campus)
  • Naval and Nautical Design (La Spezia, Genoa, Milan campuses)
In addition to these two programmes, there is also a wide range of first level Master’s courses on offer, for those who have already obtained the three-year degree, and second level Master’s, for those who have already completed the specialisation degree. Finally, after completing the second level degree, it is possible to do a research doctorate in the Department of Design department, which is highly qualified in the field of training design researchers.

The Department of Design is the first university department in Italy that deals with research and teaching in the field of design by statute.
It brings together a range of experiences, skills, and professions related to design, with the aim of pursuing excellence in the scientific, cultural, and educational fields, in response to the new problems posed by a technological, manufacturing, and professional environment that is constantly changing.
It bases its action and research initiatives, experimentation, and training programmes on the theories, methods, instruments, techniques, and cultures of artificial materials, communications, and service design.
The Department of Design promotes the development and transfer of the science, culture, and methods of design in the scientific areas and disciplines that interact with various areas (related to manufacturing and culture) of the information and knowledge society.

The Department:
  • promotes and coordinates research and training activities
  • promotes and organises initiatives, publications, events, knowledge pools, and documentation centres, also in collaboration with other departments, centres, and institutions
  • carries out research and provides consultation on contracts and conventions
  • collaborates on the creation of teaching projects in related schools by providing teaching staff
  • proposes and manages doctoral and first and second level masters courses, higher education and professional
  • development courses, including in collaboration with other departments
  • sets up and runs research and training laboratories.
The Department of Design develops a range of research, training, consultation, and technology transfer services related to the manufacturing, management, service, and communication sectors that operate in the field of design, communication, and artistic innovation, and the interconnected divisions, such as technological assistance and services related to the various scientific cultural, social, and economic areas.
It is internally structured around Research Units to which the professors and researchers report.


The construction of the great laboratories supporting teaching design activities goes back to the experimental tradition of the School of Design of the Politecnico di Milano, which adopts an inductive teaching model in which "knowing" and "knowing how to" mutually sustain and complete each other.
The laboratories are designed for implementing activities in order to allow students to verify the project outline and learn the usage of technical tools necessary for testing, representation and communication of projects. 

The laboratories – run by the Department of Design – cover an area of around 10,000 m2 within the Milan Bovisa campus and, together with the huge network of engineering laboratories, constitute the largest international centre supporting research in the field of design in terms of size, available equipment, and the skills network. Politeca, an integrated documentation system for research in the field of design, is integrated into the laboratories.