Milan has a long tradition of professional design practice, which grew out of the material culture of craftsmanship and industry in Lombardy at the beginning of the last century and boomed after the war and in the fifties with an original, authoritative voice. Industrial Design oversees the designing and enhancement of industrial products, integrating design disciplines (rooted in art and architecture) with technological (engineering and information technology based) and management (economics linked) disciplines. For over fifty years industrial design has been part of Universities and Scientific/Technological Institutions throughout the world: first in the industrialized European countries, in North America and in Japan; later in emerging and recently developed countries such as India, China, Brazil, Argentina, Korea and Taiwan.
In 1993 Milan, with its Politecnico, became the elective birthplace of the Degree Course in Industrial Design, the first of its kind in Italy. The Politecnico is a place of avant-garde training, a meeting point of different cultures. It links architectural and artistic studies, with their creativity and focus on form, to technical, scientific and engineering studies. In addition, this university is noteworthy for its longstanding dialogue with the great entrepreneurial management tradition of small and medium enterprises which enrich the territory of Lombardy and of Italy in general.
The history of the Degree Course in Industrial Design – Design Faculty since June 2000 and now the School of Design – is characterized by its constant desire to experiment innovative, experimental development lines that respond to the real market needs of contemporary society. The School of Design in the Politecnico di Milano is today the largest international university for the training of product, communication, interior and fashion designers, both by number of students and of teaching staff.
It is active in the recently built Milan campus. The following figures give some idea of its extent: approx. 5000 students, over 450 teaching staff and a further 400 or so research and teaching assistants working in various capacities.Degree programs are organized at two levels: 3 year first level degree (Bachelor or B.Sc) and a further 2 year second level degree “Laurea Magistrale” (Master or M.Sc).
According to “QS Rankin by Subject” the School of Design is 1st in Italy, 2nd in Europe and 5th in the world.