Course 2014-2015 a.y.



Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/08)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)

Course Objectives

The Course on design Management is aimed at offering tools and experiences to help participants solve problems related to the design process, even if some activities are carried out outside the company. A wide perspective on the value system is adopted. The course starts from the analysis of the role, the competencies and evolution of main actors (designer, suppliers etc) to focus on the design domain: product design, retail design and visual identity design.
The course focuses on the management of innovation and product development in design-based companies. As known, in these companies innovation is not only promoted by technology and products have both a strong aesthetic and symbolic value.
This is not a course of design itself but of the context in which design is used. The creativity of designers, their internal and tacit skills are vitally important only if combined with managerial skills and a deep understanding of the current economic climate. For design to be managed and championed effectively those responsible must be equipped with a broad vision of how design interacts within its changing economic, social and technological context. So, the course provides an opportunity to consider design in the context of organizations, how design relates to different business functions in the new product development process. The students learn how organizational structure, culture and strategy can encourage design and how design is used. The use of design as a strategic tool to create competitive advantage is also covered.
During the course, cases and guest speakers support the learning process.

Course Content Summary

Industry Focus:

  • household Appliances;
  • consumer Electronics;
  • furniture;
  • automotive;
  • lighting.


  • structure and Dynamics of the Value System;
  • business Models and Strategic Groups in Design-Based Industries;
  • international Growth of Design-Based Companies;
  • design and Product Development (briefing, management of external designers);
  • product Portfolio Management.

Guest Speakers from Boffi, Luceplan, Whirlpool Europe, Molteni & C., Venini, Loewe, Fiat Group.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

For non attending students

Non attending students are graded according to the following criteria: 100% final exam.

Students are asked to take the final exam in the form of an essay on a specific topic.


For attending students

Attending Students are graded according to the following criteria: 40% group assignment and 60% final exam. The overall individual grade, however, can receive an upgrade for outstanding class participation to case discussions and excellent task/project accomplishment.

Students are required to write a complete design brief for an international Design Studio (Design Continuum), with a specific focus on a product category. The output has to be distinguished by a clear structure and objective and it has to be well organized. Every written assignment is expected to be grammatically correct and without spelling errors. The expected output should be represented by a ppt presentation (15-20 slides). The assignment starts the first week and it is discussed in class at the end of the course.

Final exam: students are asked to take the final exam in the form of an essay on a specific topic.  


  • C. LOJACONO (edited by), Managing Design-Based Companies, Readings and Cases, Il Pellicano, AY 2010/2011.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 30/06/2014 12:03