cod. 1009610

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
integrated course unit
12 credits
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

The knowledge required to act effectively in the complex contemporary design processes is related to the design methodology and, more specifically, to the management and development of the project in a context of a broad and complex investigation, which starts from a brief to be refined and defined, in dialogue with the client. In order to sustain the scenario investigation, the students acquire further knowledge from the courses of NEW MATERIALS FOR THE FOOD SYSTEM and IMPACT AND EVALUATION; these have to do with the understanding of materials, their properties and performance, the processing technologies concerning food products' systems and with the knowledge of the socio-economic impacts and the evaluation processes that can guide design.

The Laboratory allows students to define the opportunities for the project's development starting from a client's request. This will be done through a progressive acquisition and questioning of sensitive and decisive data connected to the users involved, to the material, technological, economic-financial and cultural resources available.
The designer for food will therefore be able to define new projects for the food system and to give shape to the relative value and material chains, consciously and responsibly.
In this sense, it is expected that, during the Laboratory, students acquire and exercise specific skills such as critical thinking; analysis and interpretation of the context; decision-making skills and the assumption of professional, social and environmental responsibilities; the ability to work in collaboration with the disciplinary skills that contribute to the course, interpreting and finalising the valuable contributions to the product-system being developed.
Moreover, the capacity to manage complex design processes is enhanced by the skills provided explicitly by the three disciplines, such as the ability to understand and manage the relationships between materials and their performance and products, between materials and user needs, the ability to understand and manage the complex relationships between products, market and socio-economic contexts, and to estimate costs and evaluate the impacts of processes and benefits on communities.


The labroratory requires a basic knowledge of the techniques for two-dimensional, axonometric and virtual representation of the design project. It also requires a preliminary understanding of the methodological processes of industrial design.

Students are expected to be able to experience the Laboratory with the appropriate methodological and cultural knowledge gained in the previous design laboratories and by the teachings of the first year of the degree course, with particular attention to the laboratories MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEM and PACKAGING DESIGN FOR FOOD, to which the current Laboratory is in continuity.

Course unit content

In the design experience of DESIGN FOR FOOD, the designer works in collaboration with different disciplines, as in this case, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF MATERIALS and ECONOMIC EVALUATION, to the construction of a design scenario in which social, cultural, ethical, economic and technological values are simultaneously and systemically intertwined.

This professional figure aims to define new products and product systems related to the design of food experience and the processes related to food production, management and consumption, covering the entire life cycle, from cradle to cradle. The learning process will cover how to design for food - equipment, tools, and accessories - taking into account the different needs of users, the various technologies available, and the project's environmental and economic impacts

Full programme

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- Bassi A., Food design in Italia. Progetto e comunicazione del prodotto alimentare. Mondadori, 2015.
- Celaschi F., Deserti A. Design e innovazione. Carocci Editore, 2007.
- Germak C. (a cura di). L'uomo al centro del progetto. Allemandi, 2008 – open access sul portale della didattica
- Mari E. La valigia senza manico. Bollati Boringhieri, 2004.
- Manzini E., Jegou F. Quotidiano sostenibile. Scenari di vita urbana. Edizioni Ambiente, 2003.
- Munari B. Da cosa nasce cosa, Laterza. II Edizione 'economica Laterza', 2010.
- Norman D. A. La caffettiera del Masochista. Psicopatologia degli oggetti quotidiani. Giunti Editore, 2009.
- Reissig, P. Welcome to Food Design: a primer. Instituto de la Espacialidad Humana, FADU, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2014.
- Testa A.M. (a cura di). La creatività a più voci. Editori Laterza, 2005
- Thackara J. In the bubble. Design per un futuro sostenibile. Allemandi, 2008

- Del Curto B., Marano C., Pedeferri M.P., Materiali per il design, 2a Edizione, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 2015
- Ashby, M.F., Johnson K., Materials and Design: The Art and Science of Material Selection in Product Design, Elsevier Science & Technology, 2014

- Kotler P., Keller K.L., Ancarani F., Costabile M., (2014), ‘Marketing Management’, Pearson.
- Bugané G. (2006) Ufficio marketing & comunicazione. Principi, attività e casi di marketing strategico e operativo, Hoepli, Milano.
- Aloi F. (2005) Costi e prezzi. La contabilità dei costi e la formazione dei prezzi in ambiente competitivo, Franco Angeli, Milano.

Additional material will be made available online (notes and bibliography)

Teaching methods

Each Laboratory’s teaching module provides disciplinary knowledge during classroom lessons and other seminar moments.
In addition, according to the project topics, which vary every year and are promoted in collaboration with local economic and social agencies, students face the design process and define product design proposals thanks to the contributions of all the Laboratory’s disciplines. In this applied and practical framework, the Laboratory benefits from the inputs of the three disciplines, which also translates into moments of joint assessment of the exercises, promoting an interdisciplinary reading of the design process, and soliciting attention to the different dimensions of the project.

Assessment methods and criteria

The Laboratory requires assiduous attendance. The final evaluation will be expressed with a single mark for the Laboratory exam. It will consist of the weighted average of the scores of the three disciplines that compose the Laboratory.

The didactic activities will be monitored through subject-specific and seminar evaluations.

The tests, in addition to verifying methodological, design and critical skills and the assimilation of the topics covered, aim to assess the awareness of the student-designer.

The final evaluation will take into account different skills, such as analysis and interpretation of the context; decision-making skills; work in collaboration with disciplinary skills, understanding and management of the relationships between materials, their performance and products, between materials and user needs; understanding and managing the complex relationships between products, market and socio-economic contexts, estimation of costs and evaluation of the impacts of processes and benefits on communities.

The ability to present effectively, discuss the choices made and explain the project is considered a relevant element of the teaching promoted by the Laboratory as an indispensable element in the processes that accompany the definition and implementation of complex project programs.

The students will carry out the Laboratory activities in groups of 4 or 5. Each student's grading will be individual (expressed with a single mark). It will take into account the marks of the teachings of NEW MATERIALS FOR THE FOOD SYSTEM (25%), IMPACT AND EVALUATION (25%) and the presentation and discussion of the final project papers for the teaching of SCENARIO DESIGN (50%). Individual participation in such work and presentation moments will also be evaluated.

The exam mark, unique for the Laboratory and individual, will be assigned at the end of the oral exam of the SCENARIO DESIGN course. The evaluation for all the Laboratory courses and the Laboratory's overall mark are expressed in thirtieths; a minimum mark of 18/30 is required for each course. The maximum grade is 30 Laude.

Other information

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