About us

We are a community of professors, researchers and experts who deals with design cultures and their continuous innovation. We operate in the University of Bologna through teaching activities, Research and in the Third mission.

Flaviano Celaschi

Flaviano Celaschi

Full Professor, Design, Department of Architecture

Professional in design driven innovation in companies, various organization, public administrations. He's Chair of the Creative and Cultural Industry ClustER in Emilia Romagna region in Italy, and he's vice-president of National Cluster Made in Italy. Dean of the Industrial design courses in University of Bologna.

Andreas Sicklinger

Andreas Sicklinger

Full Professor, Design, Department of Architecture

Full Professor in Industrial Design, focuses his research interests on three main fronts: human interaction, usability and ergonomics. design education and in particular the topic of teaching future design aesthetics, design of territories and mediterranean design. He has been professor and head of department at the German University of Cairo for several years. He has published books and articles on topics of his research interest.

Elena Maria Formia

Elena Maria Formia

Associate Professor, Design, Department of Architecture

Elena Formia is Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture of the Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, where she is Director of First Cycle Degree in Industrial Design and the Second Cycle Degree in Advanced Design.
She is member of the Advanced Design Unit, a research group that investigates the relationships between design cultures, innovation and anticipation through a cross-disciplinary approach. Within this context, she is investigating, in a historical perspective, how ideas of futures were embedded in artefacts and/or in design projects.
The interest towards possible overlaps between design sciences and humanistic knowledge started in 2012, when she worked at the Humanities Design Lab, a trans-disciplinary platform of the Politecnico di Milano (Design Department).
Previously (2008-2012) she hold a Post-Doctorate Fellowship at the Politecnico di Torino, Architectural and Design Department. In 2007 she completed a Ph.D. in History of Architecture and Town Planning at the Politecnico di Torino.
She taught Design Cultures at the Design Degree Courses of the University of Bologna and Politecnico di Milano.
She is author of the books Storie e cronache del design (Allemandi 2012 – with Pier Paolo Peruccio), Storie di Futuri e Design (Maggioli 2017) and editor of the books Innovation in Design Education. Theory, research and processes to and from a Latin perspective (Allemandi 2012), Humanities Design Lab. Le culture del progetto e le scienze umane e sociali (Maggioli 2016 – with Manuela Celi). 

Michele Zannoni

Michele Zannoni

Associate Professor, Design, Department of Architecture

Michele Zannoni is Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture of the Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, where he is a member of the Advanced Design Unit. His publications include articles in SCIRES-IT journal and Material Design Journal. He is the author of the book Progetto e Interazione (Quodlibet, 2018), which explore the intersection of interaction processes and visual and product design. His scientific research is concerned about digital and physical products and interaction design. From the year 2000, he taught at the IUAV of Venice, the Polytechnic of Milan and the University of the Republic of San Marino where he was the director of the master's degree in Design. Since 1997 he has worked as interaction and visual designer in several design agencies: at Studio Altermedia, at Studio Visuale form 2008 and at last in BDS Design from 2014. In these companies he has worked on national and international projects, winning international awards in the fields of multimedia and interface design and in particular, he has collaborated since 2009 with the Technogym design center, and has designed many of the company's user interfaces.

Valentina Gianfrate

Valentina Gianfrate

Associate Professor, Design, Department of Architecture

Valentina Gianfrate, architect, PhD, research fellow in Technology of Architecture at the Dpt of Architecture, University of Bologna. Her fields of expertise are: systems and technologies for renovation of buildings, transformation of built environment, mitigative impact solutions for climate change, innovative trends lead to the construction sector. She is involved in several initiatives of international learning/training activities under Climate Kic Platform. She is author of several national and international articles about retrofitting technologies for existing buildings, sustainable design, and about the relation between energy measures and regulations with existing constructions.

Viktor Malakuczi

Viktor Malakuczi

Researcher (type RTDA), Sapienza University of Rome

Viktor Malakuczi is a Researcher (type RTDA) at Sapienza University of Rome. Collaborator at University of Bologna, being part of the DIID journal’s editorial staff, as well as a contract professor previously. His research interests revolve around the contamination of design with advanced digital know-how at different levels, from the immaterial design to digitally enhanced objects, up to digital fabrication. The main area of interest is the digital manufacturing and industry 4.0, where he investigates the consequent evolution of design practices, material culture and new functional-semantic values, with a special attention to personalisable and computational design. Around this theme, recently he has published a book titled “Computational by Design”.

Luca Barbieri

Luca Barbieri

Models and prototypes lab technician, Department of Architecture

interaction design | digital manufacturing | game design

Graduated in Industrial Product Design in Ferrara in 2015 with the thesis “Satellite innovation: exhibition on rapid prototyping”. He received his Master's Degree in Interaction Design in San Marino in March 2019 with the thesis: “Wearable device and mimetic devices for body tracking. Stress, Parkinson's and tremor as a form of prevention and awareness of one's own body”. From January 2020 he has a research fellow at the Advance Design Unit of the University of Bologna and works on the development of processes and methods to support teaching for product design, analyzes the tools and technologies of maker contexts for physical prototyping and digital with a particular focus on enabling technologies for Industry 4.0. It is responsible for supporting users of the Makerspace Alma Labor for experimental projects.

Davide Giorgetta

Davide Giorgetta

Research fellow, Department of Architecture

graphic design | interaction design | web development

Graduated in design for publishing at the ISIA Urbino in 2015 with a thesis on the phenomenon of non-institutional digital libraries and their implications in the publishing ecosystem. He works with graphic design and web development in artistic and cultural contexts, focusing his activity on the intersection among design, culture and technology. Since 2018 he has been teaching assistant at the University of the Republic of San Marino and since 2020 he has been lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. He is currently a research fellow at the Research Center for Interaction with the Cultural and Creative Industries of the University of Bologna.

Lorela Mehmeti

Lorela Mehmeti

PhD student, Department of Architecture

PhD Student in Architecture and Design Cultures at the University of Bologna. Her current work focuses on the analysis of scientific production and critical analyses of design cultures. She is currently Editorial Manager of the scientific journal diid.disegno industrial industrial design. She earned an MA in Interdisciplinary Research and Studies on Eastern Europe, focusing on her integration process of the Western Balkan countries in the EU. During her professional experience as a researcher, first at the University of Zagreb and later at ECMI Kosovo, she specialized in migration issues, the social inclusion of marginalized groups and minorities, and co-participation strategies. Her extensive experience gained on the field working with the civil society in the Balkan area gave her the chance to engage in the project development sector, namely grant-writing for projects and fundraising among major donors in the region. These activities have paved her way towards the analysis of project design and new co-design methodologies for strategic inclusion, through culture and creativity as tools for increasing community resilience

Elena Vai

Elena Vai

Researcher (type RTDA), Department of Architecture

cultural and creative industries | social innovation | design driven innovation

Graduated in Phenomenology of styles, PhD student in Architecture and project Culture at the University of Bologna, where she carries out a research on the role of events in urban transformation. Research fellow in the Center on the interaction between Creative and Cultural Industries. Curator of exhibitions, since 2015 she is responsible for the contents of Bologna Design Week, an event system for the urban, cultural an human re-activation of the city.

Alberto Calleo

Alberto Calleo

PhD Candidate, Design, Department of Architecture

digital prototyping and fabrication | computational and parametric design and architecture | traditional crafts

Graduated in Building Engineering at the Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna. He has been tutor and adjunct professor for the Degree and Master Degree Course in Industrial Design at the same University where he now collaborates with the Advanced Design Unit. His specific area of interest is product design with a focus on innovative technology for designing, prototyping and manufacturing. 

Simona Colitti

Simona Colitti

Research fellow, Department of Architecture

Service Design | Community-Led Design | Design for Social Change | Data Visualization 

She collaborates with the Advanced Design Unit of the University of Bologna as a research fellow and as a teaching tutor. Service designer, she works on participatory processes and community-led design. Her recent research interests focus on the collection and visualisation of data related to gender inclusivity and the relationship between culture and territory.

Andrea Cattabriga

Andrea Cattabriga

phd student, Department of Architecture

open and participatory innovation | citizen science | digital & distributed manufacturing | AI & enabling technologies

His research is focused on the impact of enabling technologies on collaborative innovation and design practice, where design is intended also as a training and knowledge distribution toolset.
Experienced in the development of co-design platforms, makerspace, living labs and methodologies aimed at facilitating strategic product and service innovation, his current interests lay around the adoption of artificial intelligence in complex, multi-stakeholder, participatory design and citizen science contexts.
Andrea is an award winning designer, consultant, trainer and technology transfer, co-founder of Slow/d and Junto Innovation Hub. Previously Adjunct Professor and Research Fellow, he is currently PhD Fellow at the Advanced Design Unit at University of Bologna.

Valentina De Matteo

Valentina De Matteo

phd student, Department of Architecture

change design | knowledge innovation | participatory design | serious games for innovation | storytelling design

Clara Giardina

Clara Giardina

phd student, Department of Architecture

packaging design | ecodesign | kids&toy design | design thinking

She collaborates with the Advanced Design Unit of Bologna as an expert in innovation and sustainability in the Packaging System, dealing with responsible design, education, design thinking. Lecturer at the University of Bologna - Industrial Design Course, Master Design and Technology for Fashion Communication, Master in Innovation in eXtended Reality, Master in Enterprise and Ceramic Technology - since 2014.
Designer, she projects exhibitions, workshops and communication products with the aim of spreading sustainable behavior and innovation. She collaborated with Paco Collaborative, Opificio Golinelli and Unindustria Bologna, bringing Design Thinking into schools. She is part of ilVespaio, a professional network that deals with eco-design and sustainability for companies and institutions.
Yunyu Ouyang

Yunyu Ouyang

phd student, Department of Architecture

Social Design | Public Service Innovation

Yunyu OUYANG is an observer of social transformation. She focuses on governance innovation launched in China and Italy. Her research is exploring ways to optimize existing public service structures and improving civic satisfaction for Generation Z.

She holds a Master's Degree(MRes) in Design Studies concentrating on Enabling Design at Jiangnan University(Wuxi, China), where she has conducted the study on empowering the marginalized group through participatory processes. Yunyu also has various papers published in some Chinese journals, including Hunan Social Science and Sino-Western Architecture etc..

Prior to joining the Advanced Design Unit, Yunyu was a design strategist responsible for converting an anti-desertification NPO into a social-enterprise at Inner Mongolia, China, in order to involve the third-sectors to combat land degradation with local authorities.

Ludovica Rosato

Ludovica Rosato

phd student, Department of Architecture

advanced design | product design | material design

Ludovica Rosato is a Ph.D. student in Architecture and design culture at the University of Bologna. Her research fits in the field of Advanced Design Studies and, in particular, it focuses on the designer’s role in the transition to the new sustainable uses of polymers in designing products. She intends to create tools, methods and systems that allow industries and designers to exploit the characteristics of this material without impacting on the environmental and social ecosystem.
Since 2019 she is a member of the Advanced Design Unit, the design research group of the Architecture Department of the University of Bologna with whom she carries out activities of study, applied research, dissemination and education. She is a teaching assistant in the design course of the university of Bologna, she previously attended a first cycle degree in Industrial Design and a master’s degree in advanced design of products and processes.

Laura Succini

Laura Succini

phd student, Department of Architecture

EVIE YUQING ZHU

EVIE YUQING ZHU

phd student, Department of Architecture

Knowledge Innovation and Design thinking | Art Education and Illustration | Storytelling | Participatory Design | Cultural and Creative Industry

Yuqing Zhu is a PhD student at the Advanced Design Unit at the University of Bologna. Her research interests mainly focus on knowledge innovation and creative industry. With a background of illustrating for children in the US, she intends to research how art education and storytelling can benefit individuals’ growth. She is also an illustrator and a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Giorgio Casoni

Giorgio Casoni

Collaborator, Department of Architecture

innovation management | design driven

He was professor of Economics and Innovation Management at the University of Urbino, the Polytechnic of Turin and the Polytechnic of Milan. He teaches at the Bologna Business School, dealing with management innovation and innovation driven by neuroscience. He is currently a research fellow at the advanced Design Unit of the University of Bologna, where he deals with applications of neuroscience in the workplace and on persons. 
He co-founded and is director of Neocogita, an Italian startup that develops technological systems and services applying neuroscience to well-being in companies. He is also co-founder and managing partner of Spinnvest, a company that transforms ideas, business models and innovations into startups in the field of cleantech, IT Digital, mechatronics and neuroscience.

Giorgio Dall'Osso

Giorgio Dall'Osso

Researcher, University of the Republic of San Marino

body design | basic design | design for behaviour change

Designer, his research focus is the relationship between body and technology. Since 2016 he is a member of the Advanced Design Unit, the design research group of the Architecture Department of the University of Bologna. His research interests focus on basic design and behaviour design. 

Ami Liçaj

Ami Liçaj

Research Fellow, Design, Department of Architecture

Visual Design | Data Visualization | UI/UX Design

Designer and PhD in Design, focused on Data Visualization, passionate about processes - and the "designerly" way of dealing with them - applied to digital/social/intangible/future. Since 2015 she has been combining freelance work with research and academic work, previously at the Department of Architecture and Design of the University of Genoa - where she has been for several years a research fellow, teaching tutor, collaborator and contract lecturer - and currently at the Advanced Design Unit of the University of Bologna where she holds a research grant entitled "Design culture and creative practices for sustainable development in the low touch and low travel age".

Davide Pletto

Davide Pletto

PhD Candidate, Design, Department of Architecture

Advanced Design | Packaging Design | Prototyping and digital manufacturing

Graduated in Industrial Design at the University of Palermo in 2017, after a brief experience in the world of interior and product design, he obtains the Master Degree in Advanced Design of Product in 2021 at the University of Bologna, with a thesis focused on the design of packaging in compliance with the directive on single-use plastics and developed in collaboration with a company in the territory of Bologna. In 2021 he wins a scholarship for a PhD with research topics related to sustainable innovations, prototyping and experimentation in the packaging system.

Margherita Ascari

Margherita Ascari

PhD Candidate, Design, Department of Architecture

Data Driven Design | Public Service Design | Citizen Science | Human-Nature Interaction

PhD Student in Architecture and Design Cultures at the University of Bologna since 2021. She is interested in data-driven practices and data visualization applied to processes of co-production of research (citizen science) and co-design of services within urban ecosystems. In 2020 she obtained her Master's degree in Advanced Service Design at the University of Bologna, discussing a thesis on the role of data visualization in participatory processes for the communication of urban phenomena.

Diego Pucci

Diego Pucci

PhD student, Department of Architecture

Advanced design | Extended reality | Affordance | Biofeedback | Human behavior

He studied design at the University of Bologna, earning his bachelor's degree with a thesis on Time Compression Technologies. His master's projects led him to reflect on the importance of the psychological aspect in design, which he later deepened in a thesis based on cycling as a transformative practice. After a year of working in a research lab of the "Rete Alta Tecnologia", in 2022 he began a PhD program on mixed reality and its use in virtual learning and training environments.

Paula Visonà

Paula Visonà

Visiting Researcher, Department of Architecture

Future Scenarios | Creative Ecosystems | Creative and Cultural Industry | Macrotrends | Open Innovation

Professor and coordinator of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in design, fashion and creative entrepreneurship at Unisinos (Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos - BR). Consultant for companies in the fields of open innovation strategies, co-design, future scenarios, social macro trends and behavioral trends. PhD in social communication, master in strategic design and a degree in fashion. Researcher of collectives, hubs, creative ecosystems and their implications in the generation of future scenarios. Researcher and enthusiast of the Creative and Cultural Industries. Guest professor at the Universidad Veritas at  San Jose, Costa Rica, teaching an of the International Seminars of the Fashion Design course. Co-founder of the Somos MAG - Somos Moda Autoral Gaúcha, independent fashion movement/network - and of RadarASG (radarasg.com), a digital tool that allows a diagnosis of organizational maturity with respect to each of the areas of application of ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) and future scenarios for regeneration. Visiting Researcher at the University of Bologna, Advanced Design Unit,  developing a post-doctoral project on the theme "Transterritorial Creative Networks Oriented by Future Scenarios."