The Exploring Designer: A Design Training Model in Italy

By Claudia De Giorgi.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In Italy, university courses on Industrial Design were born to train skilled operators to critically assess projects and to pit against different scenarios, combining the technical and production dimension with the socio-cultural one. The teaching aimed at building relationships among function, suggestion, innovation and adaptation to the context.
Nowadays, the situation is different and notably two conditions have brought to a revision of training models and education to the project within the university purview. First, the awareness that Design is now an intersection, a sort of square where human and technical sciences meet and where the Designer is a go-between whose task is to integrate different skills and knowledge.
Second, the recognition that Design has evolved in the question: together with the traditional question “how to do it?”, today the Designer is asked “what to do?” or “where to do it?”. From a problem solving actor to the exploring Designer, able to find out new product types and sectors, new production ways and new consumer behaviours.
Three questions having a different weight to which correspond three training aims having an always increasing complexity in educating the Designer to explore: aware designer, able to read the present (explorer 1); scenario designer, able to foreshadow the future (explorer 2); surfing designer, able to go beyond the common sense (explorer 3).

Keywords: Design Training, Exploring Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.259-280. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 10.091MB).

Claudia De Giorgi

Researcher in Industrial Design, Architectural and Industrial Design Department, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy

The main field of research regards design with a “human centered” approach, as to say, focusing on real human needs: functional, relational and perceptive ones. The aim is to innovate products by deepening contents and knowledge about project materials. This knowledge is focused on materials and innovative processes (or new use of materials and traditional processes) and their possible uses, beyond the excitement over the latest trend. The approach can be applied in research-actions operations and can be applied for monitoring process and guidance for the local design system in Piedmont. She is the curator, with Claudio Germak, of the exhibition Piemonte Torino Design, which promotes worldwide Piedmont’s design excellences, also through seminars organized in collaboration with local Universities.


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