EARLY BIRD 10% for enrollment in Specializing Masters starting in autumn 2022 and in 2023
Discover more
Join DOT, the new digital community!
Discover more
  • Product Design
Master / V edition

Furniture Design

Learning from the Italian Experience

14.500,00 €
2 Nov. 2022 - 31 Dec. 2023
  • English
Available seats


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 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. 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
Anna Consolati Didactic Coordinator
Marilena Tarantino Training Specialist


Youtube Flickr


Hugo Charlet

Rafael Marcondes

Luca Notarstefano

Stephanie Yvonne Saad

Edoardo Maria Pilisi


Training objectives

The aim of the Master Course 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. The program furthermore 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 Specializing Master is based on practical activities with the participation of some of the most prominent Italian furniture companies and international designers.
Students will work on real problems related to contemporary challenges of the industry, starting from real project briefs from the partner companies.

The Specializing Master in Furniture Design provides the following types of training activities:

  • Introductory and specialized lessons, entrusted to a highly qualified faculty, composed of teachers from the Politecnico di Milano, professionals from the industry and experts from the business world. The lessons will introduce and go deeper into the various aspects of contemporary design and will give an overview of methods and tools intended to innovate and manage added value through design.
  • Seminars and meetings with designers and companies that will bring participants into direct contact with the protagonists of Italian design.
  • Project work in small teams starting from project briefs from partner companies with the support of professionals and experts from within the industry.
    Practical activities through workshops to acquire physical and digital modelling and rendering skills.
  • Professional experience by way of internship at companies and professional studios (minimum 300 hours), with the aim of experimenting and expanding the skills acquired during the Master.

Didactic Modules

The program is delivered through companyvisits, 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 produc ttypologies 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, withthe aim of experimenting and expanding the skills acquired during the Master in the worldof work. The final exam consists in the development and presentation of an elaborate in which the candidate will take care of bringing out the experience gained during the curricular internship and all the master activities and developed projects.

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.


The Specializing Master Course Committee will select the students to be admitted.
To take part to the selection process, the application form must be completed online within the following deadlines:

  • for Italian / foreign citizens with a qualification obtained in Italy within 3 October 2022;
  • for Extra U.E. citizens within 3 September 2022.


The cost of the Specializing Master is 14.500 € Exempt from VAT under Article 10 of DPR 633/72. (14.000 € participation fee + 500 € registration fee at Politecnico di Milano).




Send your application by May 17, 2022 to claim one of 4 PARTIAL EXEMPTIONS -25% on the tuition fee.

Find out more


Send your application by July 15, 2022 to claim one of 2 PARTIAL EXEMPTIONS -50% on the tuition fee.

Find out more


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
Anna Consolati Didactic Coordinator
Marilena Tarantino Training Specialist

Companies Opinion

Paolo Fantoni
“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
“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
“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
Diving 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.”