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Service Design: new scenarios for MART

Our offer / Trainings / Theoretical experiences / Seminars

Date: 04.02.2019
Location: MART – Cultural education and mediation area, Corso Angelo Bettini 43, Rovereto -TN

Seminar reserved for 9 mediators of Mart museum.

09:00 – 09:30 Introduction to Service Design
09:30 – 10:00 Introduction to tools
10:00 – 10:20 Coffe break
10:20 – 12:30 Role Playing and Insight Matrix
12.30 – 13.00 Sharing and presentation of the results

The Design Research Lab meets the Mart’s Education Area for a training seminar aimed at updating mediators. The idea is to periodically promote a real MeaningsLab at the Mart museum to support the development of skills that can encourage the production of new processes and practices, in order to identify and develop new teaching formats. Design promotes new ways of thinking and doing, informs strategic choices, also in the educational field. This seminar was born, therefore, from the desire to focus, also in the museum context, on new scenarios dedicated to innovation, simplification and design.

To innovate means to implement or improve a product, a good, a service or a process, through new organizational methods in practical activities, new work organizations or external relations. In this sense, design is one of the ideal tools for the realization of innovation. It is, indeed, the activity of conceiving and developing a design for a new or significantly better product, service or system that ensures the best solution-interface with respect to the needs of users, their aspirations and abilities, realizing all aspects of cohesion and of sustainability.

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Space (natural and built) as text: the semiotic approach

Event | Date: 04.12.2018

Location: Department of Humanities, Room 1

This seminar, proposed by the Design Research Lab at the University of Trento and led by Prof. Ugo Volli from the Department of Philosophy and Education Sciences at the University of Turin, aims at providing a semiotic interpretation of space, as determined and structured by a text.


Prof. Ugo Volli, University of Turin

How does a text organize the spatial dimension? How can processes of meaning pose limits on a text? The seminar will deal with these questions and others, and will be primarily aimed at transmitting the fundamental concepts and contemporary discussions within the field of semiotics to the participants.

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Service Design for Pantrentino

Production system 

Offer / Training / Design experiences


Period: March 2018 – July 2018
Location: Design Research Lab, Bakery Association (Confcommercio Trento)

Format: Design Studio
Partner: Bakery Association

DRLab, in collaboration with the Bakery Association, has developed and concluded the project, “Service Design for Pantrentino”, in the new Design Studio format, with the aim of identifying design principles to support strategic actions in favor of the “Pantrentino” as alternative to the commercial proposal and in line with the general objective of the DRLab, to support public and private bodies and associations delegated to the development of the leadership areas of Trentino by resorting to design as a lever for local development.


Backend gallery

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Design Research

Seminar | Date: 01.10 – 02.10 – 03.10.2018

Location: Department of Humanities, classroom 118 – via Tommaso Gar, 14 Trento 

In a series of three lectures, Tom Bieling will attempt to clarify the concept of Design Research and discuss its relevance and theoretical/practical application. The core argument is that design research offers an entry to conceptualizing the artificial interfaces of design through which we meet the world, which may take many forms such has material objects, virtual spaces, hybrid systems, and social processes.

Dr. des. Tom Bieling, Visiting Professor, Design Research Lab – Universität der Künste Berlin

The first lecture (1.10) will present a framework for conceptualizing Design Research as mainly subdivided into Research about Design, Research for Design, and Research trough Design. Self-evidently, the design of products, technologies, services, systems, virtual worlds and tangible objects always implicitly transmits role models and values. Design and the images it disseminates, often unreflectively, are hence unavoidably political. Thus design is an effective force in shaping not only material culture, but also societal values and human behavior. Investigating on the three above mentioned levels of design research, shall help us to gain a deeper understanding concerning the potentials as well as the pitfalls of design as a ‘critical practice’.

The second lecture (2.10.) will discuss, how digital technology affects the ontology, the aesthetics as well as the (constantly new emerging) fields practice in Design. For instance we will discuss the notion of embodied interaction, as an approach for investigating new forms of interactions between humans and the digital world. Emphasizing the interconnectedness of body and mind, and not least exploring ways of making digital content tangible.

The third lecture (3.10.) will discover how Design (Research) impacts other scientific disciplines, and – even more important – the social field in general. While historically designers have attempted to induce social change by designing objects, today (social) design understands itself as a change agent in a much more direct relation to the social. In that the focus of this lecture will be on questions regarding social transformation, urban communities, participation and engagement, as well as social, cultural, ecological and economical sustainability.


Lecture I
Monday, 1. October 2018, 5–8 pm
17.00 – 20.00 Introducing Design Research

Lecture II
Tuesday, 2. October 2018, 5–8 pm
17.00 – 20.00 Applying Design Research

Lecture III
Tuesday, 2. October 2018, 5–8 pm
17.00 – 20.00 Projecting Design Research

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Service Design for School-Work Alternation

Offer / Training / Design experiences

Period: February 2018 – October 2018
Location: Buonarroti-Pozzo Higher Institute

Format: Design Studio
Partner: Buonarroti-Pozzo Technical-Technological Institute (TN)

With the Reform of Education, the so-called “Buona scuola” and with the introduction of the compulsory nature of the School-Work Alternation -ASL- and the Reform of Apprenticeship, the transformation of the educational and training system was carried out in Italy to arrive at the definition of a model of “dual system” that aligns us with other European countries in which work is recognized as a “necessary and indispensable educational experience” to form the human capital of the future. In particular, in the Trentino system, 400 hours in technical and professional institutes and 200 hours in high schools certainly represent an innovative didactic format in the consideration that overcoming the division between theory and practices in the study paths cannot be immediate, but it is urgent and necessary.

This objective is one of the medium / long term ones and can only be achieved through new organizational efforts and new design practices. For this reason, DRLab intends to introduce the design culture of Service Design in the various units and teams of managers in charge of the good functioning of the ASL, thus allowing all the actors involved to be protagonists in its complex ecosystem. On the Service Design project for School-Work Alternation, see also the Design Workshops and the Design Seminar carried out in collaboration with Trentino IPRASE. See also the event to present the results of the project organized in collaboration with the Buonarroti-Pozzo Institute of Trento.


Designing ourselves, the world, and reality

Seminar | Date: 14.06.2018
Venue: Department of Humanities, Room 421 - via Tommaso Gar, 14 Trento

This seminar is for designers, thinkers, and creatives that want to test their assumptions about themselves, the world, and reality in order to better understand the creative process and build better systems and services. It will be argued that most human beings live in two ‘worlds’ – one that is integrated and whole and another that is fragmented and confused. By examining the ways in which we ‘think’ about the landscape in which we live and the way we interact with both it and ourselves, we will explore the question of personal identity, how our past influences our creative capacity, and how our relationships with ourselves and each other ultimately affect the world we build and live within.

Keynote speaker:

Oli Anderson, writer and Chief Design Officer at Design Decode

10.15 - 10.30 Greetings by Michela Ventin, DRLab Coordinator
10.30 - 11.15 Strategy or psychology? Design a language
11.15 - 11.30 Coffee break
11.30 - 12.00 Discussion and selection of materials

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Aesthetics and interdisciplinary research

Seminar | Date: 13.06.2018

Location: Department of Humanities, Room 229 – via Tommaso Gar, 14 Trento

The seminar, organized by the Design Research Lab at the Univetsity of Trento, investigates research potentials for aesthetics developed in an interdisciplinary manner through critical theory, visual studies, philosophy of images, perception theory and, not least, complexity theory and design theory. The seminar was organized in collaboration with the journal I Castelli di Yale (


Prof. Leonardo Distaso, University of Naples Federico II

Prof. Andrea Gatti, University of the Studies of Ferrara

Prof. Giuseppe Patella, University of Rome Tor Vergata

Prof. Renato Troncon, University of Trento


15.30 – 15.45 Presentation and greetings

16.15 – 16.45 Andrea Gatti, Theories of perception and philosophy of images

16.45 – 17.15 Leonardo Distaso, Social aesthetics between critical theory and Visual Studies

17.15 – 17.45 Giuseppe Patella, Aesthetic and cultural turns

17.45 – 18.15 Renato Troncon, Design sciences and philosophy

18.15 – 18.30 Conclusions

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Design Sciences

Seminar | Date: 30.05.2018

Location: Department of Humanities, Room 229 – via Tommaso Gar, 14 Trento

Organized by the Design Research Lab (Trento) and including the presence of professor Tom Bieling of the Design Research Lab (Berlin), the seminar investigated interpretations and controversies around the concept of “design” within different historical and cultural contexts and, specifically, within an evolutionary perspective.


Prof. Tom Bieling, Design Research Lab – Universität der Künste Berlin

Prof. Renato Troncon, Design Research Lab – University of Trento

Dott.ssa. Camilla Robuschi, Design Research Lab – University of Trento

This framework takes into account disciplines and fields of study including philosophy, biosemiotics, cultural theory, media studies, and schools of thought such as positivism, rationalism, constructivism and the new philosophy of science, in order to fully understand and apply design research in its many forms.


09.30 – 09.45 Introduction and greetings

09.45 – 10.30 Tom Bieling, The idea of design between cultural theory and media studies

10.30 – 10.45 Break

10.45 – 11.30 Renato Troncon, Design and Evolution: The meaning of exaptation

11.30 – 12.00 Camilla Robuschi, The role of code-duality within the creative process in the perspective of biosemiotic studies

12.00 – 12.15 Conclusions


Storytelling for business

Workshop | Date: 24.05.2018
Location: BUC, Central University Library, Room 2C, Via Adalberto Libera, 3 - Trento

The DRLab presents a series of intensive monthly workshops on important skills for professional designers, under the guidance of national and international experts. The aim is to contribute to the training of designers capable of lending their own professionalism support economic development. The fourth appointment will deal with Storytelling for Business.

Prof.ssa Francesca Piredda, Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano

The workshop is aimed at managers in the marketing, communication and business sectors who want to enrich their professional pathways with narrative skills useful for imagining communication strategies based on relevant contents, both for brand awareness as well as internal commitment. Participants will work in groups of 3-4 people in which each group will bring the story of their own company and present it to the group in order to develop new business stories, adapting the narrative to different market and sectors while maintaining the original vision and mission that form the soul of the brand. The participants will thus practice the principles of storytelling through using the morphology and structures of storytelling.

09.30 - 09.45 Introduction and greetings
09.45 - 10.45 The basic of storytelling
10.45 - 11.30 Individual exercise: “The story of the business”
11.30 - 12.00 Group exercise: “The story of stories”
12.30 - 14.00 Lunch break
14.00 - 15.00 Storytelling case studies for brands and multiple channels
15.00 - 17.00 Group exercises
17.00 - 17.30 Project presentations (pitching) and plenary discussion

Francesca Piredda is a research doctor and researcher in the Design Department of the Polytechnic of Milan, teaches at the School of Design of the Polytechnic of Milan and is a member of the scientific commission of Poli.Design's Master in Digital Strategy. Member of the Imagis Lab research laboratory, he collaborates with DESIS International Network - Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability. He coordinates research and training activities in the field of communication design and multi-channel strategies for branding and social inclusion, using the tools of narrativity, audiovisual language and participatory video.


Creative and Design Thinking

Workshop | Date: 17.05.2018
Location: BUC, Central University Library, Room 2C, Via Adalberto Libera, 3 - Trento

The DRLab presents a series of intensive monthly workshops on important skills for professional designers, under the guidance of national and international experts. The aim is to contribute to the training of designers capable of lending their own professionalism to supporting economic development. The third appointment will deal with Creative and Design Thinking.


Prof.ssa Marita Canina, IDEActivity Center of the Politecnico di Milano
Dott.ssa Carmen Bruno, IDEActivity Center of the Politecnico di Milano

This intensive training workshop, organized by DRLab and led by the IDEActivity Center from the Department of Design at the Milan Polytechnic, illustrates the process of Creative Design Thinking through a case study of which the participants will be the principle guides. Aimed mainly at a public of specialists, the workshop offers an opportunity based on ‘learning-by-doing’ that runs through the methodology of the IDEActivity while experimenting in first person with its principle tools. The aim of the Creative Thinking Workshop is to activate each person’s creative potential and generative collaborative dynamics for innovating and identifying new planning solutions together.

09.30 - 09.45 Introduction and greetings
09.45 - 10.45 Theoretical presentations on Creativity, Design Thinking and Human-Centred approaches
10.45 - 11.00 Design Challenge launch
11.00 - 13.00 Explore: the first phase in the design process
13.00 - 14.00 Lunch break
14.00 - 16.00 Generate: the second phase in the design process
16.00 - 16.45 Presentation of ideas
16.45 - 17.30 Debrief and conclusions


Marita Canina Ph.D in Industrial Design and biodesigner. She is Associate Professor of the Department and School of Design of the Milan Polytechnic, where she is also in charge of the scientific coordination of IDEActivity Center. Expert in creative process, Design Thinking and bio-design, current research interests are aimed at the development of Creativity Design Thinking aimed at the innovation of products and services.

Carmen Bruno is a PhD student at the Design Department of the Milan Polytechnic. The research interest focuses on the identification and analysis of new spaces of action for the designer from a human centered point of view, experimenting with new approaches based on design thinking and co-design.