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Specializing Master / XXVI edition

Strategic Design

The Specializing Master in Strategic Design combines for learning purposes the methodologies of a classic MBA with those typical of a design school oriented towards innovation.

15.500 €
21 Oct. 2024 - 31 Jan. 2026
Available seats : 35
Reductions :  Agevolazioni


Strategic Design is a design activity that concerns the Product Service System, i.e. the integrated body of products, services and communication strategies that either an actor or a network of actors (companies, institutions, non profit organizations, etc.) generate and develop to to create value.

It is often claimed that technological innovation, cultural and economical globalization, and the transition to environmental sustainability generate problems and opportunities. It is also repeatedly stated that the possibility to avoid the former and to exploit the latter requires the development of three core skills: visioning, sensing innovation, creating solutions embedded in new business models. It calls for the ability to design products and services whose success today anticipates what will be, or may have to be, the norm of tomorrow.

The social demand for a new generation of products and services, coherent with current socio-cultural transformations, and their sustainable development becomes an opportunity for companies able to operate in the context of this new design mindset. This unique meeting of design and company strategy: strategic design.


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Domenika Tomasovic

Augusto Zanoli Quadros De Oliveira

Alexis Stathakis

Lena Cavusoglu

Chiara Ridella

Ginevra Della Porta

Victor Lopes Mascarenhas

Pranay Gupta


Training objectives

The programme of the Specializing Master in Strategic Design aims to build the foundations of a specific and expert competence relating to the issues surrounding strategic design and to innovation and design of the product-system. The Specializing Master aims to produce experts and consultants capable of carrying out a design and management role in the innovation process of the product-system. In particular, the programme proposes training on integration of product, services and communication components and developing specific skills aimed at improving the overall process quality (that is, production methods and contexts) and that of the results (that is, that of the actual and perceived quality) that set the cultural identity characteristics, sensoriality a sustainability of the designed solutions.

These solution thereby distinguish themselves for their ability to combine product quality with that of their environment and the social forms that create them.

The objective is therefore to instil in participants a design capacity (problem setting and problem solving), an ability to envisage and generate ideas, produce and communicate images, initiative in terms of being able to identify the methods, resources and partners to reach a pre-established objective, an aptitude for managing complexity by integrating resources and actors in an innovative design process and, in turn, knowing how to integrate with them, vision as an ability to select information, an ability to identify trends, build a personal point of view and produce scenarios, acquire the tools needed to understand and recognise the “range of possibilities” within which to operate and the related innovative factors; acquire the skills needed to design and manage innovation of the various product-system components; acquire multimedia tools to present personal ideas and designs with the help of various communication support; develop and improve the skills to take on and innovate the intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of the cultural identity of product systems.
The programme aims to build the foundations of a specific and expert competence relating to the issues surrounding strategic design and to innovation and design of the product-system.

Didactic Plan

The Specializing Master is structured in theoretical modules, workshop, projects and laboratories. The Master concludes with a curricular internship lasting 500 hours.

Didactic Modules

The empowerment program will help to foster soft skills, for both personal and professional development. The purpose of these modules is to increase autonomy, self-determination and communication skills, to enable students to achieve their professional goals.

Intercultural Integration
The course is designed to develop a broader range of strategies to deal with cultural diversity, turning differences into an asset and to accelerate cultural integration in a team context with distributed leadership. Cultural diversities can be an asset in an intercultural context, leading to creative solutions.

The empowerment is used to increase the degree of autonomy and self-determination of all students in order to enable them to represent their interests in a responsible and self-determined way. The course incorporates basic notion of coaching, start-up empowering to prepare students to align their skills to their future professional career.

Pitch & Presentation Strategies
The main goal of the course is to teach how to give voice to personal ideas in order to have a real impact on the audience through an efficient structure of communication. Delivering a successful presentation means talking to the heart of people, inspiring their minds in the short timings you are allowed.

Creativity & Team Management
This course is designed to allow the participants to develop an understanding of basic dynamics of leading creativity in teams, in the context of organizations. In doing so, the course adopts an experiential approach, engaging the student actively in the learning process.

Portfolio Empowerment
The course is intended to allow participants to define and develop their own portfolio: a tailor-made communication project that contains project and communicate specific skills and competences. The lecture is designed to acquire the knowledges to design a portfolio; acquire the ability to define and communicate their own skills and to realize a professional portfolio.

Strategic Storytelling & Contents narratives
The course is desinged to teach the students how to apply a semiotic analysis to the visual landscape; introduce the basic rules of storytelling and storytelling for business and offer the students a chance to apply what they’ve learned in a personal presentation.


These modules explore different topics and draw upon several kind of expertise needed to work on open ended problems and take an active stance in problem formulation.

History of Italian Design
A complete overview of the cultural roots of Italian design showing how different traits are nowadays current and updated (spirit of entrepreneurship, the innovation as a cultural act, the product innovation related to the change of meaning, the observation of user-context).

Product Service System
A deep investigation on how design becomes strategic tying the brand identity with the product features and the distributive strategy.

Service Design
The modules transfer the design tools related to development and the innovation of a service. A deep attention is dedicated to the service ‘tangibilization’.

Social Innovation
The notions of holistic design, radical and systemic change, sustainability, service logic, functional economy, efficiency and sufficiency will be introduced and discussed with regards to the elements characterising a Product Service System.

Design Method Gym
A Design Method Gym is a practical learning experience, rooted in discipline, which accelerates the paths of interpretation and development of the design briefs, data, intuitions technological, semantic and human resources that each design path uses.


A range of integrated modules that address the requirements of strategic management, enabling students to appraise the factors which impact on innovation and its development.

Strategic Management
The present module is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the concepts of strategy, strategic decision, strategic innovation and disruptive innovation and to illustrate how they are connected with competitive advantage and value creation in companies.

The present modules transfer the main concepts about the marketing process, marketing organization and marketing analytical tools. A particular attention is dedicated to the 4P orchestration and to the innovation perspective based on marketing paradigm.

Entrepreneurship and Startup Development
The present modules transfer the concepts related to the roots of entrepreneurial activity, the personal traits of entrepreneur, the startup genesis, the lean start up.

Project Management
The present modules transfer the basics related to project management as a process of resource allocation and goal setting. Specific attention is dedicated to the differences of project management in big and medium companies and in environments characterized by low or high innovation pace.

Technology Management
The present modules transfer the concept of technology adoption as a source of competitive advantage. A specific attention is dedicated to technology driven competition, and to the concepts of complementary assets and network externalities.


These modules explore different topics at the overlapping between design and management where the former shapes the old managerial science toward new paradigms of innovation, the latter augments the grounding and systemic capability of design.

Innovation Management
Innovation is a way to achieve a competitive advantage. Specifically great attention is addressed to the barriers to innovate, to the set of advantages/disadvantages pertaining innovation, and to closed/open innovation paradigms. A specific focus is centered on Design-Driven innovation.

Design Thinking
The course will focus on the engaging and the management of the array of designers. Specifically the modules show the main tradeoffs related to divergent design management options.

Business modeling
The course leverages extensively on activity-based learning method, where students will directly experience business model design and innovation process by taking both perspectives of a startup – looking for a business model – and incumbent company – in need of business model renewal.

Strategic Design
These modules explore different design related topics and draw upon several kind of expertise needed to work on open ended problems and take an active stance in problem formulation and strategic proposition.


These workshops are «project-based learning» activities to apply specific tools and methodologies centered on cutting-edge topics. Students learn how emerging challenges require a new kind of design thinking.

Design for User Experience
Theory and practice are combined during the course in order to clarify the core focus and value of UX design in the market, how it’s applied in the development and execution of product and service ideas and its relationship with other roles and disciplines.

Design for Circular Economy
The circular economy is a new economic system that the European Community embraced, aimed at eliminating waste and promoting the continual use of resources in a virtually endless cycle. During this workshop students will understand how to change the designer’s mindset to work within planet’s boundaries.

Data-driven Marketing
Students will be trained to identify the role of data in improving the different marketing activities: analysis and prediction of demand, segmentation and targeting of the customer base, definition of customer relationship policies, management of experiences, enforcement of commercial and communication plans.

Disruptive Innovation in AI & Big Data
The workshop is designed to discover how AI can improve efficiencies, provide customer insights, and generate new product ideas, to develop a deep and jargon-free understanding of AI and machine learning concepts and to gain exposure to applications across functional areas by learning about trends emerging from the rise of frontier tech.

Title Released

At the end of the programme, once the final examination has been passed, the 1st level Specializing Master Strategic Design. Building new businesses and strategies through design diploma will be issued, with the related achievement of 60 CFU/ECTS.

Employment Opportunities

The placement identifies two main macro-professional profiles: “innovation and design specialists” (marketing directors, R&D managers, industrial designers and product engineers, services and multimedia solutions designers) and “integrators of innovative and design processes” (design managers, design directors, project managers, product managers, retail managers, brand managers, consultants for product-system innovation).



The Specializing Master is reserved to candidates with a university Diploma or a Bachelor or a Master of Science in engineering, architecture, industrial design, economics, social and human sciences, that have gained a certain degree of work experience and who intend on enriching their professional careers by working on the border between the design and management fields.

As for candidates who graduated abroad, equivalent study titles in their respective educational institutions will be considered.


To take part to the selection process, the application form must be completed online within the following deadlines:

  • EU/non-EU who graduated in Italy / EU citizens with qualification gained abroad within September 21, 2024;
  • Non-EU citizens who graduated abroad within August 21, 2024.


The cost of the Specializing Master is 15.500 € (15.000 € participation fee + 500 € registration fee at Politecnico di Milano).


Send your application within March 1, 2024 to take advantage of the reduction -10%! Limited Places Available.

Deadline for sending the signed contract and payment of the deposit of the participation fee: no later than March 15, 2024. offers the community of Politecnico di Milano a 50% discount to be applied to the participation fee for a I and II level Specializing Master or Higher Education Course / Post Graduate Program / Continuing Education Course which manages and provides. The discount is for internal staff (i.e., structured teachers and technical and administrative staff) with active contracts at Politecnico di Milano and members of their household.


To benefit from the discount you will need to:

  • send the selection application to the chosen course with the relevant required documents;
  • successfully pass the selections;
  • send a copy of the applicant’s family status.