cod. 1009596

Academic year 2022/23
1° year of course - First semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
12 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

At the end of the multidisciplinary laboratory, the student will demonstrate familiarity in
- understand the relationships between design, historical/cultural context and structural conception;
- give identity to a two- or three-dimensional composition by managing the relationships between form, volume, material, colour and space;
- knowing how to experiment, giving concrete form and structure to intellectual concepts;
- managing the time dedicated to the project (conceptualisation) and construction of the artefact (experimentation).


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Course unit content

The multidisciplinary course provides to the student who approaches design adequate methodological and preparatory tools, both theoretical and practical, to manage the relationships between form, volume, material, color and space, giving them meaning and value. The theoretical part provides the foundations of these relationships through the illustration of paradigmatic case studies of two and three-dimensional designs, their placement in the historical context of the movements of the Arts and Techniques, the conception of the Structure that characterizes them.

The contribution of History and theory of the project consists in providing critical information and tools to interpret the keywords of the project in a correct chronological, socio-economic, cultural context through the ordinary research tools. Each theme faced in the design "section" will be addressed using examples taken from the historical flow, highlighting the formal-expressive, material, functional and meaning characteristics assigned at the time of design and production and the possible contemporary approaches. The chronological period under consideration is between the Industrial Revolution and nowadays, the references will be taken from the design culture as a whole: architecture, graphics, visual communication. The module intends to provide, through a first approach to the history and theory of the project organized in thematic blocks, the necessary critical approach and needs for knowledge and intends to follow the student through a multidisciplinary path in which humanistic knowledge is proposed both as an interpretative and operational line.

The contribution of statics for the design aims to introduce the essential aspects of the structural behavior of artifacts, with particular reference to the concept of equilibrium and resistant mechanisms. The tools to understand the structural functioning of simple objects and critically evaluate the parameters of interest in the process of structural conception of the artifact will be provided.

The practical part, articulated in a sequence of exercises, is aimed at experimenting the primary theoretical principles in the context of a multi-relational design composition: designing through points, lines, planes, volumes; designing with the potentiality and the limits of balance, weight, elasticity; looking at the languages of folding, modulating, joining; declaring the references to rhetoric, nature, history, technique and art.

Full programme

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D.BRAMSTON, Il linguaggio dei prodotti, Zanichelli, Bologna, 2011
R. FALCINELLI, Cromorama. Come il colore ha cambiato il nostro sguardo, Einaudi Stile Libero Extra, Torino, 2017A.MECACCI, Estetica e Design, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2012
Arte come mestiere, Laterza, Bari, 1966 B.MUNARI, Design e comunicazione visiva, Bari 1968
B.MUNARI, Da cosa nasce cosa, Laterza, Bari, 1981
D.SUDJIC, Il linguaggio delle cose, Laterza, Bari, 2015
R. J. LANG, Origami in Action, St. Martin’s Griffin, New York, 1997.

Further bibliographical information will be provided in class.

The specific bibliography for each module is indicated in the syllabus of the module itself.

Teaching methods

Lectures with images and videos; exercises leading to thematic seminars.

The laboratory organizes and promotes visits to museums, foundations or associations that study or propose exhibitions about the culture of design.

Assessment methods and criteria

The laboratory requires assiduous attendance, especially considering the final assessment, which will be expressed by a single exam grade across the three disciplines.
The examination includes an individual test to verify each module's knowledge acquired by the single student and an oral test in which the team discusses the third exercise developed during the course in front of the teachers of the three disciplines.

It consists of 3 separate tests that provide an evaluation in thirtieths.
Design: closed and opened questions; History and Theory for the project: open questions; Principles of Statics for Design: exercises.

The student may decide not to hand in one or more tests, thus receiving an evaluation for only the parts taken. In the event of a failing grade in one or more subjects, the student may retake the test(s) in subsequent sessions until the autumn session, which is the last session to pass the final exam. Even in the case of an improvement, it is possible to retake the test(s) in subsequent sessions. However, in taking the new test, the student automatically cancels the previously acquired assessment.

The discussion involves the participation of the whole group, and the assessment will be the same for each component. The test is independent of having passed the individual tests.

The final grade is awarded to the student who has passed the three individual tests and held the discussion on the third exercise. Each subject formulates a grade which is the average of the individual tests and the exercises. The three results thus obtained give rise to the "final grade", which is a weighted average calculated as follows:
FINAL GRADE = 0.5 x Design score + 0.25 x History score + 0.25 x Statics score.

During the final assessment, the board of teachers may add variations to the averages thus obtained.

Other information

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