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University of Palermo

Department of Architecture

Italy Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

Both the BA in Industrial Design and the MA in Design and Local Heritage are the results of the experience of the original School of Design, that was founded, among the first of its kind, in Palermo in the 1980s by Anna Maria Fundarò, full professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Palermo. Both the programmes were born in response to an ever-growing demand for professionally and scientifically trained designers orientated towards the valorisation, development and innovation of local culture, cultural heritage, landscape, tourism, cultural and agricultural productions, for the Sicilian and Mediterranean area, and with a focus on environmental, economical and socio-cultural sustainability.

International Role

Both tha Design BA and MA of the Department of Architecture at the University of Palermo have developed extensive international relationships with foreign universities in different countries in Europe and around the world, including Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Poland, Latvia, Austria, with some exchange programs (Erasmus+ Inter-Institutional Agreements / KA131 – KA107; Integrated Study Path / Percorso Integrato di Studio / PIS).

National Role

The Design bachelor and master course of the Department of Architecture at the University of Palermo  are strictly connected with a territorial reality and a strategic economic and industrial environment like the South of Italy which insists on the Mediterranean area.

Main Focus

BA in Industrial Design, established in 2002, expresses a cultural line which, since the 1980s, has promoted research and projects aimed at innovation and development of the Sicilian and Mediterranean territory and productions.
The course trains professionals with design processing skills applied to the various areas of product design and visual communication, developing knowledge and critical skills oriented towards technical-productive, social and cultural innovation.

MA in Design and Local Heritage, established in 2018, is the only master's degree course accessible to three-year graduates in the Sicilian and Mediterranean area, to continue their studies in the field of Design locally. The two-year training course dialogues with the large scenario of resources present in the territory to train project figures capable of contributing to the identity, protection, enhancement and best use of these resources, with particular reference to: cultural heritage, territory, landscape, tourism, cultural and creative productions, agro-food production of excellence, with a view to environmental, economic and socio-cultural sustainability.

Faculties and Departments

Department of Architecture (Dipartimento di Architettura)

Bachelor Level Programs

BA in Industrial Design (Disegno Industriale) (3 years)

Master Level Programs

MA in Design and Local Heritage (Design e Cultura del territorio) (2 years)

Research Activity and Main Areas

– Territorial design
– Design & Innovation
– Local & Cultural Heritage
– Identity, protection & enhancements and best use of local resources 
– Agro-food production of excellence 
– Environmental, economic and socio-cultural sustainability

Doctorate Level Programs

PhD Architecture, Arts and Planning, Curriculum in Sustainable Architecture and Design: Human Centered Approach

Doctorate of National Interest in Design for Made in Italy: Identity, Innovation and Sustainability


Subject Areas for Exchange Students

0212 – Fashion, interior and industrial design

Application Deadlines

for I semester
30th June

for II semester
30th November

Teaching Languages

– Italian
– English

Semester Dates

I semester
from the end of Septembre to second week of January

II semester
from the beginning of March to the beginning of June

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

The cost of living per month, (including the cost of studying, accommodation, utilities and food) for an exchange student is around € 500/month.


Bachelor: 450
Master: 50
Doctorate: 4

Exchange Students

Incoming: 10
Outgoing: 30
Others: -

Teaching Staff

Professors: 60
Lectures: 27
Other permanent teachers: 42
Part-time Teachers: 13

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