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Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2017/2018
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Industriale e dell'Informazione
Insegnamento 098510 - DESIGN MANAGEMENT LAB
Docente Zurlo Francesco
Cfu 5.00 Tipo insegnamento Modulo Di Corso Strutturato

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Programma dettagliato e risultati di apprendimento attesi

Nowadays, design and design management nurture the organization strategic capabilities to create innovation and the differentiation assets to create value. In the last 20 years, as matter of fact, design has been considered a strategic weapon able to create innovation leaderships, unique positioning, competitive advantages of worldwide leading global companies.

In this course, design is indeed approached: i) with a strategic worth (not just technical), where it informs the organization strategic path and the value creation dynamics; ii) related to a product-service system (and not only tangible offering), where the integration between tangible and intangible offering contribute to create value and differentiation; iii) as a set of cognitive and visualization tools useful to conceive and visualize business model innovations.

The course is a unique journey, aimed at developing capabilities and skills to be handle design-driven innovation, to manage design-related tradeoffs, to mould scenarios of innovation and configure new product-service systems and business models.

The goal is obtained by a set of ex-cathedra lectures, a project-based learning path, info-graphics and knowledge visualization techniques ad-hoc seminars.

More specifically, the course aims at enabling student to:

Understand the “soft side” of competition and organizations competitive advantages;

Understand the semiotic soul of products and brands

Open the perspective to increase the range of innovation opportunities through design;

Employ creativity tools to shape innovation trajectories and identify innovative scenarios ;

Understand how to (when and why) apply user analysis qualitative tools

Use storytelling and visualization techniques to champion the innovation within and without (with stakeholders) the organization boundaries

The course has been designed around three main blocks:

1. Design-driven competition: in this module you will learn how to interpret and steer competitive dynamics through product and service meaning lens. The module focuses especially on the following topics:

The framework of design-driven innovation

Competing and leading innovation through design

The innovation of product-service meaning

The role of designer in innovation process

Managing design and designers in different competitive environment

2. User analysis: in this module you will learn how to use qualitative tools to investigate user. The topics characterising the module are the following ones:

The user observation: the context of observation; the tools of observation; rapid ethnography and shadowing.

The interview; the in-situ interview; photographic and recording shooting

The generative techniques of user activation: participatory design and co-design.

The representation and visualization of user derived knowledge.

3. Creativity and design based tools: in this module you will learn how to frame (and re-frame) a design problem and generate findings and learning to proceed along the innovation process. The module will both go through the different phases, activities and methodologies needed to transform an idea into a product-service solution to be launched in the market, and describe the organizational settings and challenges a leader has to face in managing it. The specific topics covered by the modules are the following ones:

Problem setting, Problem finding, Problem Framing, Problem Re-Framing

Divergent and convergent thinking

The product as a “narrative”

The approach of Product-Service System (PSS) to innovation

The concept of design research, the abduction and the serendipity

The design research outside the project field: the blue-sky research

Opportunity and Orienteering Map.

Additional contents will be uploaded in a Syllabus on Beep

Slides / Business Cases / Videos


Slides, tools, business cases and videos will be made available through Course website on BeeP.



Suggested Textbooks


 Most of the classes have been developed considering the following books:

Verganti, R. (2009). Design Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean. Harvard Business Press.

Best, K. (2015). Design Management. Managing design strategy, process and implementation. Fairchild Books.

Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, Brian Quinn, (2013), Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs. Wiley


Additional readings

Kees, D. The core of ‘design thinking’ and its application. Design studies 32.6 (2011): 521-532.

Harvey Molotch, Where Stuff Comes From. How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be as They Are

New York and London: Routledge, 2003.

F.Zurlo, C.Cautela, Design strategies in different narrative frames, in “Design Issues”, MIT press, Mass., USA, Vol. 30, N°1, Winter 2014, pp.19-35

T. Brown, Design thinking, «Harvard business review», 2008, 6, pp. 84-92.

D.A. Norman, Emotional design. Why we love (or hate) everyday things, New York 2004 (trad. it. Milano 2004).

R. Buchanan. Management and Design: Interaction Pathways in Organizational Life. In “Managing as Designing”, edited by Richard Boland and Fred Collope. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto. 2004.

John Heskett, Industrial Design, Oxford University Press, New York, 1980

David Hands., Vision and Values in Design Management, AVA Publishing, Lausanne, 2009

Kelly T., Littman J., The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout

Your Organization, Doubleday, New York, 2005

Martin R., The Design of Business. Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA, 2009


Note Sulla Modalità di valutazione

Deliveries and deadlines

The course has some main moments of presentation of the project “state of art” (the last is considered as final exam):

Reviews are mandatory and the whole team will have to participate to them. In the reviews, each team will have a scheduled time to meet face to face with the main professor or the tutor of the section. During the face-to-face meeting, the team will have to report on the status of the project. The meetings are also a moment in which teams can ask questions to Professor and Tutor about doubts, problems and clarifications regarding the project.

In addition, several group work sessions are planned during the semester (see the calendar). Teams can use the four hours of the group-work sessions to work on projects—either in class or outside it. A tutor will be present in class for the whole duration of the session, to support teams in case of doubts, questions or problems.

Both reviews and group-work sessions are extremely important for the accomplishment of projects requirements. It is up to each team to exploit these resources in the best way, and learning how to do it is a part of the educational process.



The evaluation process will be mainly based on the development of project.

Each delivery will have a single assessment.

The final project delivery (in form of report) will be evaluated on the following criteria:

The quality and clarity of the analysis, of the solution’s concept, the project plan;

The qualitative data and evidence provided to support those analysis and insights;

The use of appropriate frameworks, tools, and topics introduced during classes;

The logical structure of the report, and its effectiveness in terms of communication (language, visuals, infographics, etc.).


The video and the final presentation will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Content: same criteria as above for the report (with, of course, the additional capability to select key messages that can be communicated in a 5 minutes presentation);

Communication: logical structure and communication effectiveness of the video;

Discussion: effectiveness in addressing the questions raised by the audience.



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laboratorio informatico
laboratorio sperimentale
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Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
schedaincarico v. 1.8.3 / 1.8.3
Area Servizi ICT