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  • Product Design
Specializing Master / IX edition

Furniture Design

Learning from the Italian Experience

The Master in Furniture Design aims to train designers with specialist skills in furniture design in collaboration with the best Italian companies operating in the sector.

15.500 €
6 Nov. 2024 - 12 Dec. 2025
Available seats : 30
Last places available for the edition starting in June 2024


The furniture industry is undergoing profound transformation and therefore companies are reconsidering their product ranges, presence in international market, distribution channels, and product and brand communication. All this requires a strong upgrading of the skills of designers and their ability to relate to added value building.

The Master in Furniture Design is based on the capacity of Italian companies, working in the furniture industry, to use design as a fundamental lever of competitive advantage and a structural element of corporate culture.

So, the core of the program is focused on the knowledge generated from the advantageous relationships instilled between the Italian production system and the network of professions involved in design.

The Master sets its cultural roots in the “Italian model” of rapport between enterprise and design, while also aiming to develop new knowledge in innovation that responds to the challenges posed by technological, social and market changes.

The program’s structure takes on a systemic vision of the role of design in the furniture industry – teaming new fields of interest to the traditional focus on product development – along with the growing importance of brands and its tangible and intangible elements of expression.


The specializing master is entrusted to a highly qualified faculty, composed of teachers from the Politecnico di Milano, industry professionals and experts coming from the business world.


Francesco Zurlo Co-Director
Elisa Astori Scientific Coordinator
John William Bennett Project Coordination
Marilena Tarantino Didactic Coordinator


Youtube Flickr


Hugo Charlet

Rafael Marcondes

Luca Notarstefano

Stephanie Yvonne Saad

Edoardo Maria Pilisi


Training objectives

The aim of the Master in Furniture Design is to provide designers with specialized skills in the field of furniture design, teaching them to respond to the changes and transformations occurring in the industry’s production systems and markets by using the most advanced relationship models of integrating the product development processes with market dynamics and technological advancements.

Furthermore, the program seeks to complete the training of professionals in industry working in R&D, marketing and brand management departments and provide them with the ability to understand and manage design as a lever of competitive advantage.

The course is primarily intended for those already with work experience in the furniture industry and in related fields seeking to: complete their training, expand their knowledge base and understand the dynamics of an advanced relationship model between design, culture and productive systems.

Didactic Plan

The program is delivered through company visits, lectures, testimonials, case studies and project work according to the following teaching modules:
1. Design and Manufacturing Processes: the main production models, technology and their relationship with design skills are introduced, providing students with a wide panorama of the diverse product typologies and technological matrixes of the furniture industry.
2. Product Design: the module focuses on the many phases of the design process, from need and opportunity exploration to conceptual solution definition and from product development to engineering. The objective of the course is to provide students with vertical and transversal abilities through the development of projects that start with a brief provided directly by companies supporting the educational program of the Master.
3. Design, Brand Direction and Communication: the module introduces design direction and management principles by linking brand positioning and identity with supply management and brand expression (brand positioning and architecture, product portfolio strategies, brand presence at point of sales, etc.). The course aims also to introduce strategies and tools for managing media and digital distribution channels.
4. Retail, Service and Exhibition Design: the module introduces issues in retail (channel typologies, presence formats, etc.), point of sale organization (layout, etc.), user experience (service and experience design) and integration between the tangible and digital dimension. The course also introduces the principles of display and product styling, as well as exhibition design.
5. Intership: 350 hours of professionalizing projects or 350 hours of curriculum internships at companies and professional studios, with the aim of experimenting and expanding the skills acquired during the Master in the world of work.

Didactic Modules

Portfolio Empowerment
Pitch and presentation strategies
3D modeling and rendering
Free Hand Sketching
Introduction to Italian Design, Technologies and Materials
Italian Furniture Design and Manufacturing
Ideation and Concept Design
Sketch modeling
New Product Development
Product Engineering
Design for sostenability and Design for circular economy
Design for manufacturing
Shapes, Surfaces and Colours
Design and Brand Drection
Digital Media and E-Commerce
Retail, Service and Exhibition Design
Curricular internship or Project Work

Title Released

Students, after the final examination, will achieve the 1st level Specializing Master in Furniture design. Learning from the Italian experience diploma will be issued, with the related achievement of 60 CFU/ECTS.

Employment Opportunities

The master seeks to train international designers for companies and design studios working in the international market, in Italyand abroad. The program trains students for the following roles in the Furniture Industry:

  • R&D Managers;
  • Designers or Leaders of Product Development Teams;
  • Product Engineers or technical experts in the design of furnishing elements;
  • Product Portfolio Managers;
  • Design Managers or Art/Design Directors;
  • Communication and Brand Managers.



Applicants must hold a Bachelor or Master Degree in Architecture, Industrial Design, Engineering, Economics or Scientific Disciplines (Chemistry, Informatics, Physics). International students will be evaluated based on equivalent degrees in their home countries.

Applications will be evaluated by the Commission of the Master Course and be made based on the following: CV; final graduating grade; professional experience evaluation; and knowledge of the English language. Final acceptance could require an interview.


To participate in the selections you must fill out the online application form by the following deadlines:

  • EU/ Non-EU who graduated in Italy / EU citizens with qualification gained abroad by September 08th, 2024;

  • Non-EU citizens who graduated abroad by August 08th, 2024.


The cost of the Specializing Master is 15.500 € Exempt from VAT under Article 10 of DPR 633/72. (15.000 € participation fee + 500 € registration fee at Politecnico di Milano).



Community of Politecnico di Milano discount -50% 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.


The specializing master is entrusted to a highly qualified faculty, composed of teachers from the Politecnico di Milano, industry professionals and experts coming from the business world.

Current edition


Francesco Zurlo Co-Director
Elisa Astori Scientific Coordinator
John William Bennett Project Coordination
Marilena Tarantino Didactic Coordinator



Workshop | Magis


Workshop | Cassina



Current edition

Companies Opinion

Paolo Fantoni, CEO Fantoni S.P.A.

“If it is true that the finest investment is the one in one’s own self-training, then this Specializing Master will be in the hope of trying to offer a 360° view of the wood-furniture industry from raw material to producer responsibility and all the way up to the end of the product development life cycle process.”

Roberto Gavazzi, CEO Boffi

“I am convinced that the ability to depend on our companies, not only from innate creativity, coupled with the industrial entrepreneurship typical of our country, but more and more from being equipped to face the difficult challenges of the future through study and cultural understanding of the key factors of success in the design world, and I hope that this Specializing Master will make a significant contribution to increasing the quality of the Italian management system.”

Daniele Lago, CEO Lago S.p.a.

“Italians are recognized for knowing how to design and make beautiful things, a talent that has been developed furthermore by the fact that we are born and live in Italy, a unique country in the world, capable of influencing our everyday inspirations. Over the years of working both as a businessman and as a designer has led me to recognize that Design is the ability to search for, discover, recognize and design the “beauty of the vision” as set out in paragraph 7 in our LAGO manifesto.” © photo Alberto Bevilacqua

Barbara Minetto, Marketing and Communication Manager Magis Spa

“The profession of the designer today has become very complex and requires an in-depth understanding of multidisciplinary skills that must constantly dialogue and interact with each other. The Specializing Master’s approach is interdisciplinary and allows you to receive incitements and testimonies from different areas with particular attention to the Italian business model.”

Maurizio Riva, CEO Riva 1920

“It is everyone’s duty to improve our World with the future generations at heart.”

Fiorella Villa, Design/Brand Strategy Consultant

“Italian design and the astonishing work that takes shape in companies is a unique model with a series of unwritten rules. The Specializing Master will enter into the daily life of the creative and corporate process to identify the key steps in the design management process and guarantee a profound, qualified and strategic understanding.”

Lorenzo Arosio, Direttore generale Glas Italia

“Designing a product correctly, paying maximum attention to all its aspects, I believe is the key to the success of Made in Italy.
For this reason, training designers with complete and in-depth skills, I believe is a priority to ensure that this leadership continues in the years to come.”

Carola Bestetti, Living Divani

“Different cultures, sensitivities and experiences have always been the basis of the Living Divani philosophy. In accordance with a contemporaneity attentive to changes and open to internationalization, the Speciazlizing Master in Furniture Design creates the possibility of enriching oneself, dialoguing and involving the new generation of design: unique voices and visions that offer not only opportunities for exchange to be brought back into one’s own route, but above all of reflection on product development through dynamic and current approaches on increasingly crucial aspects such as communication and brand management.”