Product Design for Robotics

Professors:Lorenzo Imbesi, Loredana Di Lucchio

Full description

The course wil be held also in 2017 (probably in summer). Additional information on the new edtion will be published as soon as possible. Below you can find details on the 2016 edition of the course



Lecturers: Prof. Lorenzo Imbesi, Prof. Loredana Di Lucchio

General overview of the course

The course is aimed to provide design research principles, methods, tools and practices for the design of physical interactions and automated products, while introducing the key concepts and methods of Design Thinking, Product Strategy, User Experience and Ethnography of Design, MindMapping, Rapid and Physical Prototyping, Future Scenario Forecasting. While explaining the theoretical references, its design and research methods, the course will develop a project aimed at the elaboration of a design scenario. The training is intended to train the students with detailed knowledge that they can put the Design Thinking Process into Action.

The course is aimed the students to develop creative thinking skills-key to innovation. These include the ability to gain deep insights about the users (the core of design thinking), to define and reframe problems, and to generate solutions or alternative approaches that are more effective than those that already exist.

The approach of Design Thinking brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable. Through lectures, tutorials, brainstorming, studio work, the student will approach to use creative tools to address the design of products, systems, services, processes, and strategy to be applied to robotical interactive and physical products.


The objective of the course

The primary objective of the course is to develop the students’ abilities to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional, and to develop project scenarios. The design thinking process is best thought of as a system of overlapping spaces rather than a sequence of orderly steps. There are three spaces to keep in mind: inspiration, ideation, and implementation. Inspiration is the problem or opportunity that motivates the search for solutions. Ideation is the process of generating, developing, and testing ideas. Implementation is the path that leads from the project stage into people’s lives.


The content of the course

Design thinking is a deeply human process that taps into abilities we all have but get overlooked by more conventional problem-solving practices. It relies on our ability to be intuitive, to recognize patterns, to construct ideas that are emotionally meaningful as well as functional, and to express ourselves through means beyond words or symbols.

In particular, the students will be stimulated in the development of the following skills, capabilities and experiences:

Research skills:

-  acquiring interdisciplinary and research skills for design;

-  developing methods for research and experimentation in design;

-  developing methodologies for observation and ethnography of design;

Inquiry capability:

-  understanding the connection between technology, innovation and design;

-  developing tools on the new challenges for design in contemporary society;

-  developing processes of design able to cause reflections on existing values, mores, and practices in a culture;

-  reflecting on design in the post-industrial age;

 Project experience:

-  developing design projects and objects through their social organization and service connected;

-  building design scenarios around cultural behaviours and new forms of consumption;

-  developing experimental and applied skills to solve specific design contexts.


Assignments/ Projects and other requirements

The students will elaborate a project according to a specific topic assigned and using the methodologies introduced during the workshop. Each stage of the process will contribute to the elaboration of the final work in the contents and in the form.

The project will be completed at the end of the course and the students will give a presentation of their design scenario project through a number of different design deliverables and media, according to their individual abilities and skills (sketches, drawings, models, rapid/dirty prototypes, mindmaps, videos, and any visual/3d media).


The methodology and didactic aspect

The course will introduce a number of topics through five introductory lectures:

- Design Thinking (Day 1);

- Design and Everyday Life (Day 2);

- Interaction Design (Day 3);

- User Experience (Day 4);

- Product Strategy (Day 5);


Additionally, during the workshop the students will learn several design research techniques, such as:

- future forecasting;

- brainstorming;

- design ethnography;

- Mindmapping;

- Dirty and Rapid Prototyping.


Course Schedule:

Step1 _ studying

- June 1st, 2016: Design Thinking - brainstorming; mindmapping;

- June 8th, 2016: Interaction Design - future forecasting;




Step2 _ applying         

- June 13th, 2016: Design and Everyday Life - design ethnography; user needs;(*)

- June 15th, 2016: User Experience - Customer Journey; storyboard;

- June 17th, 2016: Strategic Design - Business Model Canvas.




Step 3

- June 27th, 2016: Final Presentation and discussion



All lectures but that of June 13th will take place in room A4 from 10.15 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

(*) The lecture of June 13th will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.