Insegnamento a.a. 2020-2021


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLMG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - M (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - IM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - MM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - AFC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - CLELI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - ACME (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07) - DES-ESS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - EMIT (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - GIO (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - DSBA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - PPA (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07) - FIN (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza

Mission & Content Summary


This course is meant to introduce you to tools, concepts and experiences aimed at increasing your understanding of how business firms can take advantage of design (in the form of an internal design centre and/or collaborations with design consultancies) in order to build and sustain competitive advantage.


  • Design as an open system.
  • Design and differentiation strategies.
  • History and phenomenology of design.
  • The design process: main stages.
  • Different aproaches to design.
  • The main tools: briefing, concept, mood boards.
  • Distributing design and communicating design.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the design process and learn how to improve its effectiveness.
  • Practicing creative activity.
  • Acquire fundamental knowledge of design history and phenomenology.
  • Familiarize with the “design industry” and learn about how different types of design consultancies are structured and operate.
  • Familiarize with the perspective of designers and the logic of design thinking.
  • Understand the potential contribution of design and designers to competitive advantage, value creation and strategic renewal.
  • Understand the purpose and structure of a design brief, and learn how to improve its effectiveness.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Manage a design process.
  • Understand the creative activity.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


  • Case studies: IDEO, Alessi, Bang & Olufsen in order to understand the different aproaches to design.
  • Group assignments: in order to understand the history and phenomenology of design and in order to practice a creativity process.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


The final grade is based:

  • In part (30%) on the first group assignment.
  • In part (70%) on the group assignment.
  • In addition, up to 2 (two) extra points can be discretionarily assigned by the instructor to reward outstanding contributions to class discussions.


In order to adequately assess the learning of the above listed points, two different group works are planned: the first (30%) concerns the history and the phenomenology of design and the second (70%) relates to the design process for a product, by interpreting each group two different roles : the management team and the design company.


Active participation in the class helps to better assess the student's critical ability


The first group work consists in the study of an important historical period of design, from its inception to the present, in phenomenological terms, seeking the relationships between science, technology, art, society and economic development, highlighting the main players of the period and the most significant objects created in that period.


The second group work comes from the assumption that to understand and effectively manage the design process, it is necessary to understand the game of the different roles within the process itself.


Each group works on two innovative products (A and B). For one of these (A) they will act as a design company that receives a briefing from a company (represented by a different group) that wants to launch a product. For the other (B), they are the company that want launch the second product and have prepare the briefing, provide support and evaluate the work of another group that will operate as a design company.


Written exam (100% of the final grade), consisting on open questions or business cases discussion, in order to assess students’ ability to use the basic concepts of design phenomenology, to understand the contribution of product design to strategic business results, or even the peculiarities of based design companies.

Teaching materials


  • Slides from instructor.
  • J. HESKETT, Design. A very brief introduction, Oxford University Press, 2005 (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 9).
  • D. RAVASI (edited by), Course pack (Management of Design: Cases and readings).
Last change 26/07/2020 16:42