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Department of Architecture, University of Bologna

Advanced Design Unit

Italy Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Innovative design solutions are driven by user and audience requiring the application of a broad range of scientific and creative skills in order to discover solutions for the potential future needs. Understanding this dynamic aspect of design is key to the Design Programs. The designer and advanced designger are able to manage the entire cycle of products development, from concept generation to production processes, taking into account constraints and resources of the social, economic and industrial contexts.

With this background, the designer can operate in design and consulting firms, in technical offices, in communication agencies, in research and development centers of international companies as well as small and medium enterprises.

Interdisciplinary research methods are offered that expand the understanding of the role of design regionally and internationally. Through its distinctive academic content, the programs have a preactical nature which stimulates the students' capacity for reflection, and identifies opportunities to both create new and transform existing experiences in the everyday lives of our society.

International Role

The University of Bologna has strong relations all over the world with the most renown Institutions in their fields. In this context, the Advanced Design Unit has launched important cooperation with Central and South America, as well with European Partners for high qualified exchange of students and teachers/ A further focus will be to concentrate on its strategic position in Italy connecting and networking with Design Institutes on all borders of the Mediterranean Sea and beyond.

National Role

The Advanced Design Unit inside the Department of Architecture of the University of Bologna is the window of the local industry to enforce the creation of a center of excellence in design and innovation, pointing on education and research, practice oriented through active participation of industry partners in teaching and evaluating students'work.

The Advanced Design Unit serves as open library of innovation for national and international industry to capture new trends of creativity and application.

Main Focus

The degree course in Industrial Design aims to train a figure of industrial designers who combines the instrumental knowledge for the develpment of the project with the ability to contextualilse the hypothesis of its engineering, development and production in the company. In particular, the course prepares designers able to take into account, in the formulation of their project proposals, the constraints and resources of the industrial system in the which they operate. the study program entirely refers to the concept of Creative and Cutlural Industries.

The Master in Advanced Product Design aims to generate desigerns experienced in design innovation for the creation of new products and services (product-service systems). The design-driven innovation processes carried out by the Advanced Designer benefit from the hybridization of the skills acquired in th design studios with managerial competences and with deep knowledge of production processes and new technologies (design management and design engineering). 

The Master in Advanced Service Design creates innovative services for the strategic development of the city – with its infrastructures, models of governance, and with the needs of its citizens.

Faculties and Departments

School of Engineering and Architecture – Department of Architecture – Unit Advanced Design

Bachelor Level Programs

Bachelor in Industrial Design

Master Level Programs

Master in Advanced Design


Advanced Product Design

Advanced Service Design

Research Activity and Main Areas

Advanced Design supports the awareness of society towards new aesthetics and values. In cooperation with industry, the research Unit aims to launch innovative processes that lead to a different way of evaluating future scenarios of consume and behaviour. In a vivid interaction with other disciplines Design can generate services and products that look at the market of tomorrow for a changing society. To face the multiple challenges of complex contemporary phenomena – acceleration, globalization and sustainability – it is necessary to recover the relationship between companies, research centers and institutions. The research Unit offers advanced research for improving the innovation potentials not only of companies and public organizations, but also of cities and territories.

Doctorate Level Programs

PhD in Architecture and Design Cultures

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

The preferred areas of exchange with other institutions are related to the semesters 3 to 5 of the Bachelor, where the exchanging student can gain most the specificity of the hosting Institute (incoming, outgoing). Further during the Master program, semester 2 and 3 are the most recommended for the same reason.

Application Deadlines

Application deadline for generating new agreements of exchange cooperation are in October of the Academic Year that precedes the Exchange Program.

For running exchange programs and application from students' side, the application is in January for the following Academic Year.

Teaching Languages

Italian, international workshops and seminars are in English

Semester Dates

Winter Semester starts beginning of September, ending with the final exams/presentations in January.

Spring Semester starts middle of February, ending with the final exams/presentations in June.

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

Bologna is a vivid city with one third of its population being students. That means that there can be any level of live styles for hosting students, as long as the city offers a wide range of accommodations facilities and shard roomw, huge variety of food supply and appropriate price policies for public services and transportation.

An average cost of life can vary from 1000 to 1500 Euro per month sleeping accommodation included.


Bachelor: 390
Master: 240
Doctorate: 10

Exchange Students

Incoming: 8
Outgoing: 10

Teaching Staff

Professors: 55
Lectures: 39
Other permanent teachers: 5
Part-time Teachers: -

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