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Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2020/2021
Scuola Scuola del Design
Insegnamento 052851 - FINAL SYNTHESIS STUDIO SECT. 2
Docente Bianchini Massimo , Bolzan Patrizia , Gelsomini Mirko , Maffei Stefano
Cfu 18.00 Tipo insegnamento Laboratorio
Didattica innovativa L'insegnamento prevede  18.0  CFU erogati con Didattica Innovativa come segue:
  • Cotutela con mondo esterno

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

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The aim of the laboratory is to integrate the knowledge, instruments and methods acquired during the laurea magistrale (equivalent to Master of Science) learning road and systemize them. The laboratory proposes innovative project research topics, in harmony with emerging social, cultural and technical tendencies, to explore new product scenarios. Teaching is carried out with companies, institutions and research and development centres, with the aim of transferring skills that are functional for the development of innovative solutions.

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

- are familiar with and understand the processes, methods and instruments required for interpreting, in a critical manner, the design themes in the widest context of cultural, social and technological transformation;
- know how to elaborate a design, with particular attention on the functional, typological, structural and technical aspects;
- independently and in a group, operate and communicate the design choices made, developing attitudes towards negotiation, team building, leadership and managing conflict

Argomenti trattati


Designing product-services-systems for resilient fab cities



We are facing a Great Transformation (Brynjolfsson and Mcafee, 2016) which involves Industry and sociotechnical system: the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (Schwab, 2016) and the Environmental crisis that lies behind the emerging circular economy models. Technology has a significant role in this process: digitization, automation, platformization of services, and servitization of the whole economy is powered by an exponential development of data and growth of interactive products and systems. Technology will also penetrate the human and personal sphere - from personalized medicine to genetic editing and human enhancement - starting to democratize on a mass scale the philosophies of posthumanism. It is the Anthropocene: a new era of our world-environment massively influenced by human action in which the existence itself of our species is being discussed. This new state will affect how society and its Innovation Ecosystems (made by public administrations, enterprises, citizens). Evolution and/or revolution. Now, we are starting to discover that we need a new model of innovation: a mission-oriented innovation model (Mazzuccato, 2017) which leads to Transition Design (Irwin, 2015) considered as an emerging research and practice approach that proposes an integrated design-led societal transition toward more sustainable futures. However, where this change might start? The City is the ideal stage in which we could analyze and enact all these transformations. Metropolitan areas become the ideal scenario for sociotechnical and economic change and development by bringing together demand and supply sides.

The City is the place in which the individual and collective demand for product and services, technologies and infrastructure, economic, organizational and political resources, knowledge production infrastructure (private and public research facilities, universities, labs and research institutions) and actors, existing production and distribution infrastructure enabling everyday life. By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in cities. This data has been estimated by the United Nations (World Urbanization Prospects 2018, United Nations). More and more citizens concentrated in increasingly dense urban areas. The right territory for a distributed network of large-scale labs which experiment with new models of sustainability and open innovation. This new future hyper-municipalism requires that the society (policymakers, institutions, citizens, enterprises) reflects and acts for the development of new city metabolisms through a complex and advanced concept of fab + circular + resilient City. There are good examples of these new metabolisms: cities like Barcelona, ​​Paris, Amsterdam, Seoul, Shenzhen, Detroit and Milan are experimenting circular economy models characterized by urban production, the participation of innovative users, the connection and interaction with the creative and productive city infrastructure. They will develop high-value local production chains: agri-tech and food transformation; smart furniture and fashion-tech.


Starting from this general framework, the Final Studio Lab is based on three main steps:

  1. research the topic of transition design for circular economy in order to identify socially conscious design challenges. The Lab will stimulate students to investigate different societal, economic and technological phenomena of transformation referred to urban contexts and how they are intertwined with production-distribution chains.
  2. research the City of Milan as a distributed territorial-laboratory to contextualize transition processes towards the circular economy. Milan is one of the most advanced contexts in terms new production models and urban resilience initiatives. For this reason, it is an ideal project area for the Lab Final Studio. Milan is internationally recognized as a design and fashion capital, and after EXPO has evolved into a food capital. More recently, thanks to a relevant presence of a Fab Labs network, it has also been recognized as an internationally acknowledged as a maker city. In the last years, the Municipality of Milan has developed research and innovation projects dedicated to urban resilience, circular economy, urban manufacturing, peri-urban agriculture. The Circular Design Lab will interact with this existing knowledge and practices and with REFLOW, a recently started H2020 research project which aims to design constructive metabolic processes for material flows in urban and peri-urban environments across Europe (Politecnico di Milano and Municipality of Milan are part of REFLOW).
  3. Research (and design) for three sectors Food, Fashion, and Furniture - as project areas for the design of innovative products-systems supporting the city in the transition path to circular economy.

In particular:

  • Food area concerns the design of new products and systems for advanced forms of urban and peri-urban agriculture, for innovative food production processes influenced by the relationship between design, digital technologies and biotechnologies.
  • Fashion area The Fashion area concerns the design of new products and systems that stimulate forms of circularity in the textile-clothing supply chain, ranging from recycling and reuse of textile materials to new forms of urban manufacturing and retail.
  • Furniture area concerns the design of new products for home systems, that manage and deliver circular materials flows generated by local supply chains and support innovative forms of re-manufacturing.



The structure of the Final Studio Lab is divided into three modules:
Define, Design (and Materialize)

  1. Understand. This phase includes an initial research activity that will lead students to identify and explore a project theme related to one of the three sectors proposed by the course (Food, Fashion, and Furniture). The goal is to build an original problem setting which might be transformed in an innovative challenge for design. Students will have to analyze one of the sectors working on the urban scale and using interpretative models such as metabolisms, digital technologies and processes, product and material circularity. They will investigate and find problems, emerging issues, highlighting critical aspects and design opportunities areas. The outcome of this work will be included in a “Transition Booklet” that each group will present during a collective session. This exploration phase will be accompanied by a set of lectures given by Italian and international guests that will provide insights and key concepts to stimulate the creation of the booklet.
  2. Define. Starting from the results of the previous research work, the students will carry out an intense concept generation activity. The goal is to develop a concept concerning an innovative product-system solution relating to their urban reference chain. This work will be contained in a presentation that the working groups will explain during a collective session.
  3. Design (and materialize).Starting from the identified concept, the students will develop the executive design and materialize an advanced prototype that will demonstrate or verify the most relevant aspects of the solution: from the experimental application of physical principles to the use of new materials, or the innovative use of digital technologies for data creation and management or fabrication. The final storytelling will include a collective presentation of the works.




The Final Studio Lab wants to stimulate the experimental attitude of the students, encouraging them to expand and explore the cultural, technical, and professional boundaries of their design knowledge and skills, in order to be ready to act as “augmented designers” in the future contexts (Fab and resilient Cities) generated by the new economic and productive models derived from circular economy perspective. The course wants to enable the students to develop a more scientific, experimental and holistic approach to Integrated Product Design. A specific Lab objective is to stimulate students to build an original problem setting, to generate an innovative product-system concept and to manage an advanced process of materialization of the idea.



The Course Syllabus with a detailed description of the contents, activities, scheduling, bibliography of the Lab will be available on Beep before the Course start.



The works developed during the Lab must allow the students to produce a new theoretical, experimental and material knowledge that can be considered as the starting point for the development of their future thesis work. At the end of the Final Studio Lab, the members of each group might continue to develop individually the project with an agreement in the group. The transformation of the Lab project into a Thesis Project will require the approval and adoption of the proposal by one of the members of the Lab Faculty.


To attend the Final Synthesis Laboratory, students must pass the 1st year laboratories.

Modalità di valutazione

The attendance  is mandatory (at least the 80% of presences). The evaluation will be based on:

- the active participation to the activities provided by the course (lectures, researches, exercises…);

- the evaluation of the 3 deliverables linked to 3 phases (a research, a project, a prototype);

- a final presentation of the entire work.

The final mark will be the result of a non-mathematical weighted average of the evaluations of the 3 deliverables plus the final presentation.

Each exercise activity will be developed in group (up to max 5 people).



Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 180:00 270:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese

Note Docente
This program was developed to be delivered in a blended mode, in compliance with the safety protocols relating to the COVID-19 health emergency, available in July 2020.
In the event of changes in the security protocols, the timetable may be subject to changes: in particular in the event of overcoming the health emergency, the lessons may return to attendance.
More detailed information on the methods of provision and access, as well as the indications relating to security protocols and social distancing, will be available on the University and School website. Further details on teaching will be communicated by the teachers in the manner provided.
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