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29 APRIL 2013

Visualising Politecnico di Milano's School of Design

"Politecnico di Milano, in order to present the School of Design in its own stand at Salone del Mobile 2013, asked DensityDesign to realize a 4 mt x 2 mt poster showing the structure and the efficiency of the School of Design system at Politecnico. The visualization is a picture of the 2010 / 2011 academic year. We began with the visualization of the figures related to students.

On the left side you can start following the students path from the admission test to their bachelor degree, which is connected to data related to the type of contract one year after graduation (data referred to a 2010 survey).

We decided to integrate the visualization with information related to credits distribution. Every circle is a course of study and shows its typology of exams (theoretical courses, labs, etc.) with related C.F.U. (university course credits). Inside it is shown the average of earned credits by students every year. In the right side you can see the same data related to master degree.

We also visualized how many teachers each department gives to the school of design.

The poster has been completed with information about PhDs, technical and research labs and the number of students for each school of Politecnico.

The poster was realized in one week by Gabriele Calvi and Sara De Donno with the supervision of Michele Mauri."

(Sara De Donno, 24 April 2013, Density Design)



20102011 • academic department • academic year • bachelors degree • CFU • communication designcommunication design educationdataDensity Designdesign coursedesign schooldiagrammatic visualisationfashion designflowchart • Gabriele Calvi • info visualisation • infographicsinformation designinformation diagraminformation visualisation • infovis • interior designmasters degree • Michele Mauri • number of students • org chartorganisation chartorganisational designorganisational schemaorganisational teamsPolitecnico di Milanoposterproduct design • Salone del Mobile • Sara De Donno • students path • university • university course credits


Simon Perkins
04 AUGUST 2011

Density Design: a Politecnico di Milano research lab

"DensityDesign is a Research Lab in the design department (INDACO) of the Politecnico di Milano. It focuses on the visual representation of complex social, organizational and urban phenomena. Although producing, collecting, and sharing information has become much easier, robust methods and effective visual tools are still needed to observe and explore the nature of complex issues.

Our research aim is to exploit the potential of information visualization and information design and provide innovative and engaging visual artifacts to enable researchers and scholars to build solid arguments. By rearranging numeric data, reinterpreting qualitative information, locating information geographically, and building visual taxonomies, we can develop a diagrammatic visualization – a sort of graphic shortcut – to describe and unveil the hidden connections of complex systems. Our visualizations are open, inclusive, and preserve multiple interpretations of complex phenomena.

DensityDesign is committed to collaborating with other researchers and organizations devoted to academic independence and rigor, open enquiry, and risk taking to enhance our understanding of the world."

(DensityDesign, Design Research Lab)

Fig.1 "Cooperative Design Knowledge "



Simon Perkins
08 FEBRUARY 2006

Research for, about or in, by or through, Design

"Christopher Frayling's category of 'research through design', although somewhat crystallised, helped to gain recognition for on going and future design research. Among many interpretation of Frayling's categories we mainly refer to Alain Findeli (2000) when observing that 'Research for design' describes what is known as 'R&D'; it has no scientific recognition (...), since there is usually no discourse attached to it, no intention of generalisability except technological, and no 'accumulative' effect in the theoretical realm (...). A lot – but not all – of what is sometimes called 'practice–based' or 'project–based research' belongs here (...). 'Research about or in design' covers academically recognised, published, and even funded research in the field of design (its objects, products, processes, values, theoretical and historiographical models, etc.), carried out by academics of the design or other disciplines, with the epistemological and methodological tools of the already established and respected academic disciplines, and as such foreign to design (...). 'Research by or through design' is research in the field of design carried out with the tools of design, i.e. mainly with its more original and specific feature: the project. Of course, other methodological tools should not be neglected (...). The main aim of the research should not be, of course, to carry out just another design project, but to use the design project as our lab, our terrain. Among the purposes of this type of research, one should find the contribution to a 'better' (in my words 'more enlightened') design practice, at short or long term. Our epistemological and methodological challenge is to devise an academically credible, rigorous, manageable, dependable, and teachable relationship between the research and the design project, i.e. between theory and practice. (...) [11]. At the same time, the growing awareness of the intrinsic strengths of design thinking within its own context and a growing acceptance of design on its own terms helped to recognise that design has its own distinct intellectual culture [12]."

(Silvia Pizzocaro, 2005)

1). Silvia Pizzocaro, 'Towards a Strategic Role for Doctoral Research in Design', Joining Forces – Design Research, Industries and a New Interface for Competitiveness – Helsinki Pre–congress conference – September 2005 – Media Centre Lume – UIAH


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