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Master in Strategic Design. Building New Businesses and Strategies Through Design

POLI.design - Politecnico di Milano

via Durando 38/A, 20148, Milano (Lombardia)
Tel.02.2399.5911 - Fax 02.2399.5970

Stato attuale: In Corso
Tipologia corso: Master Livello: 1
Tipologia finanziamento:
Costo: 13.800 Durata a/mm: 0/13
Posti disponibili: 30 Crediti formativi: 60 CFU
Scadenza: 20/09/2018 Ammissione:
Inizio: 01/10/2018 Termine: 07/01/2020



The Specializing Master in Strategic Design. Building new businesses and strategies through design, is a 1st Level Specializing Master of Politecnico di Milano, designed and run by POLI.design in collaboration with MIP, the Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business.

The Specializing Master is completely in English.

Strategic Design is a design activity that concerns the Product Service System, i.e. the integrated body of products, services and communication strategies that either an actor or a network of actors (companies, institutions, non profit organizations, etc.) generate and develop to create value. It is often claimed that technological innovation, cultural and economical globalization, and the transition to environmental sustainability generate problems and opportunities. It is also repeatedly stated that the possibility to avoid the former and to exploit the latter requires the development of three core skills: visioning, sensing innovation, creating solutions embedded in new business models.

It calls for the ability to design products and services whose success today anticipates what will be, or may have to be, the norm of tomorrow. The social demand for a new generation of products and services, coherent with current socio-cultural transformations, and their sustainable development becomes an opportunity for companies able to operate in the context of this new design mindset. This unique meeting of design and company strategy: strategic design.


The programme aims to build the foundations of a specific and expert competence relating to the issues surrounding strategic design and to innovation and design of the product-system. The Specializing Master aims to produce experts and consultants capable of carrying out a design and management role in the innovation process of the product-system. In particular, the programme proposes training on integration of product, services and communication components and developing specific skills aimed at improving the overall process quality (that is, production methods and contexts) and that of the results (that is, that of the actual and perceived quality) that set the cultural identity characteristics, sensoriality a sustainability of the designed solutions.

These solution thereby distinguish themselves for their ability to combine product quality with that of their environment and the social forms that create them.

The objective is therefore to instil in participants a design capacity (problem setting and problem solving), an ability to envisage and generate ideas, produce and communicate images, initiative in terms of being able to identify the methods, resources and partners to reach a pre-established objective, an aptitude for managing complexity by integrating resources and actors in an innovative design process and, in turn, knowing how to integrate with them, vision as an ability to select information, an ability to identify trends, build a personal point of view and produce scenarios, acquire the tools needed to understand and recognise the "range of possibilities" within which to operate and the related innovative factors; acquire the skills needed to design and manage innovation of the various product-system components; acquire multimedia tools to present personal ideas and designs with the help of various communication support; develop and improve the skills to take on and innovate the intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of the cultural identity of product systems.


The Specializing Master is structured in theory modules, project and laboratory modules. The path finishes with a curricular internship lasting 475 hours.

Design Modules

These modules explore different topics and draw upon several kind of expertise needed to work on open ended problems and take an active stance in problem formulation.

Strategic design: These modules transfer tools and perspectives about the product-service system design and how design becomes a source of competitive advantage in organizations.

Service design: The present modules transfer the design tools related to development and the innovation of a service. A deep attention is dedicated to the service ‘tangibilization’.

Design tools: These modules explore, through applicative project and business cases, the design thinking tools supporting the design research and the conceptualization phases.

Product service system design: A deep investigation on how design becomes strategic tying the brand identity with the product features and the distributive strategy.

Design culture: A complete overview of the cultural roots of Italian design showing how different traits are nowadays current and updated (spirit of entrepreneurship, the innovation as a cultural act, the product innovation related to the change of meaning, the observation of user-context).

Management Modules

A range of integrated modules that address the requirements of strategic management, enabling students to appraise the factors which impact on innovation and its development.

Strategic and operative marketing: The present modules transfer the main concepts about the marketing process, marketing organization and marketing analytical tools. A particular attention is dedicated to the 4P orchestration and to the innovation perspective based on marketing paradigm.

Project management: The present modules transfer the basics related to project management as a process of resource allocation and goal setting. Specific attention is dedicated to the differences of project management in big and medium companies and in environments characterized by low or high innovation pace.

Entrepreneurship: The present modules transfer the concepts related to the roots of entrepreneurial activity, the personal traits of entrepreneur, the startup genesis, the lean start-up.

Corporate strategy: The present modules transfer the main concepts related to the strategic planning and to the pillars of the strategic thinking. Deep attention is addressed to how the strategic pillars (mission, vision, SBU, competitive advantages) affect the innovation and design process.

Intersection Modules

These modules explore different topics at the overlapping between design and management where the former shapes the old managerial science toward new paradigms of innovation, the latter augments the grounding and systemic capability of design.

Design strategy: An intensive introduction to the design-driven strategic options. A great attention is dedicated to the interplay between design and technology evolution.

Innovation management: Innovation is a way to achieve a competitive advantage. Specifically great attention is addressed to the barriers to innovate, to the set of advantages/disadvantages pertaining innovation, and to closed/open innovation paradigms. A specific focus is centered on design-driven innovation.

Design intensive entrepreneurship: The present modules – based on updated research streams – show design-intensive entrepreneurship as a complementary perspective respect to the high-tech based entrepreneurship.

Design management: Focusing on the engaging and the management of the array of designers. Specifically the modules show the main tradeoffs related to divergent design management options.

New service design management: A series modules transfer the main principles underpinning the design and the development of new service. The service paradigm is also used to explain some intangible innovation related to products and tangible objects.


The Specializing Master is reserved to candidates with a university Diploma or a Bachelor or a Master of Science in engineering, architecture, industrial design, economics, social and human sciences, that have gained a certain degree of work experience and who intend on enriching their professional careers by working on the border between the design and management fields. As for candidates who graduated abroad, equivalent study titles in their respective educational institutions will be considered.

The number of admitted students is 30.


The placement identifies two main macro-professional profiles: "innovation and design specialists" (marketing directors, R&D managers, industrial designers and product engineers, services and multimedia solutions designers) and "integrators of innovative and design processes" (design managers, design directors, project managers, product managers, retail managers, brand managers, consultants for product-system innovation).


The Specializing Master in Strategic Design costs € 13.800 VAT free, according to Italian law, Art. 10 Dpr 633/72.

The total cost of the Specializing Master is divided into:
- enrolment tax to the Politecnico di Milano € 500,00 per student;
- SpecializingMaster tuition fees € 13.300,00 per student.


Tipologia Percorso:

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