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The Product & Furniture Design master’s course is for individuals looking for advanced design skills, and an in-depth knowledge of the furniture and contemporary product design industry, becoming experts in managing and developing professional design projects. Participants learn how to integrate creativity with an extensive knowledge of materials, studying their properties and technical features alongside the application of new technologies.
Completed online application
Signed personal statement
2 reference letters
Copy of university diploma
Portfolio (where requested)
Passport scan (photo page)
2 digital photos (passport-style)
Italian privacy consent form
9 months; October intake
June 1, 2019
Apps accepted after deadline as space permits
September 15 2019 – June 05 2020
Academic: Completed Bachelor’s degree
*contact SAI if you don’t meet requirements
Undergraduate GPA:* 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
English Language:* Non-native English language speakers must demonstrate CEFR B2 level, and submit IELTS 6.5+ (no elements below 5.5).
Certification attained: Istituto Marangoni Certificate
Participants learn how to integrate creativity with an extensive knowledge of materials, studying their properties and technical features alongside the application of new technologies. Graphic representation in the form of renderings, 3D printing, and the creation of small prototypes further assist their ability to design and visualize products in connection with space or location, and accurately evaluate their functional and ergonomic properties. With a focus on Italian craftsmanship, design and style the course explores how Italian manufacturing is exemplary in its identification and use of materials and techniques. Cult products of the ‘Made in Italy’ tradition are analyzed in order to fully understand ‘aesthetic sensibility’ – one of the main features of the world-renowned Italian style, and showcased at the most important annual event in the international furniture design calendar, the Salone del Mobile Exhibition in Milano, Italy.
Looking at the realities that define tomorrow’s furniture and product designs, participants take a look at key trends, contemporary lifestyles, consumer needs and emotional perceptions, understanding the relationship and ‘identity’ of the project to be developed. They look at new influences in the industry including sustainability, renewable resources, and innovative materials, as well as high profile designer case studies; researching the key steps in project development to obtain a full ‘360°’ vision of product design.
Participants build their skills and potential as creative practitioners collaborating with companies on industry projects, taking an idea from concept through to final presentation. Throughout the projects they receive professional feedback and guidance from the company and are supported with business preparation in trends, markets, and communication, providing a professional approach in the negotiation and presentation of ideas to companies and new clients.
At postgraduate level participants will already have prior undergraduate level study, or relevant industry experience in order to successfully follow the course components in creative research, product design, and professional project development.
A final graduation showcase event provides an added opportunity to network with important industry players and journalists, exhibiting final work or portfolios.
Participants develop Furniture, Product, and Lighting Design skills that will enable them to engage in highly-innovating projects focused on design languages. They develop an understanding of the design processes and the creativity tools required to create original products and pieces of furniture within design-driven innovation business contexts and the ability to address new design scenarios with culturally-grounded design proposals. By combining material culture with the ability to read social changes, they interpret them through product proposals with a special emphasis on smart solutions and meaningful aesthetics.
On successful completion of their course of study students will be able to:
The Master’s course will focus on the following areas:
Course teaching methods are mainly based around formal lectures, workshops, seminars and self-directed study and within this structure a range of approaches to learning and teaching is employed as appropriate to the situation. Industry experienced specialists and visiting specialist Lecturers (industry professionals) make valuable contributions and facilitate important links to professional practice.
Self-Directed Study plays a major role in this program, where students are expected to spend time researching and analyzing subject matter independently to support and substantiate taught material.
Formal Lectures form an integral part of the program and with formal delivery of key information to the whole cohort. At this level it is expected that students will use the lectures as a stimulus for further study/reading.
Seminars are used to build on themes taken from the lecture program. Students are encouraged to make an active contribution by sharing in the argument and debate.
Visiting Lecturers are invited to deliver specialist lectures to enhance the delivery of the units.
Individual Tutorials are used when individual student work is being discussed or the guidance required is specific to one particular student. It is especially important in the dissertation phase and may be face to face, over the telephone, via e-mail or Skype.
Small Group Tutorials enable students to discuss and plan their work in greater detail than is possible with larger groups. It encourages quieter students to develop their interpersonal and communication skills and helps consolidate leadership skills in others.
Video Presentations are used to give a more in-depth understanding of a specific issue.
Case Studies are used for detailed discussion of real-life situations.
Demonstrations are normally of a technical nature and are necessary in certain subject areas. Studio / Workshop / Laboratory / Practical Sessions > may be used to enable the creative and practical skill development of the student in an environment which simulates that of industry.
Group and Team Work requires students to operate as a member of a group or team and they usually have clearly identified roles. The emphasis is on collective responsibility, individual responsibility to the group and joint decision-making.
Study Trips give students the opportunity to go outside the institute’s environment to enhance their understanding of specific subject material. If assessment is dependent on information collected whilst undertaking the study trip, the trip would be considered mandatory. The cost of study trips can be either the responsibility of the student or on occasion included in the annual study fee. If the visit is within the city students pay for public transport. This will be outlined at the beginning of any unit where such a trip is foreseen.
|June 1 2019
Applications accepted after deadline as space permits.
|Within 1 week of acceptance
||SAI Deposit Due
$1,500 Confirmation Deposit (applied toward program fee)
|July 1 2019
||50% of Total Program Fee Due
Students who are accepted and submit SAI deposits after this date will have an amended pay schedule. Either 50% or 100% of Program Fee will be due within 5 business days, based on the deposit payment date.
|July 15 2019
||Balance of Total Program Fee Due|
|September 15 2019
||Program Check-in & SAI Orientation
Students arrive in Milan independently prior to this date and must check in with on-site staff by this day. Check-in includes a brief program orientation.
|October 01 2019
||Academic Program Begins|
|June 05 2020
||Graduation & Program End|
|SAI Program Fees*||USD|
Includes tuition, Master’s certificate and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
|Program Fee: EU Citizens
Students who are EU citizens can receive a discount on their program fee.
|Optional / Additional Fees:|
|International Mailing Supplement
Students residing outside the U.S. are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
*prices are subject to change
|Budget||Low Est.||High Est.|
|Airfare to/from Milan
Visa and Permit to Stay fees.
|Books, Supplies & Course Fees
||$200 / course||$300 / course|
SAI can provide recommendations.
|$900 / month||$1,750 / month|
Combination of cooking at home and eating out.
|$600 / month||$1,000 / month|
|Personal Expenses||$250 / month||$350 / month|
|Transportation within Milan area
Public transportation with some taxi rides.
|$100 / month||$250 / month|
Cost varies greatly by student.
|$300 / month||$1,000 / month|
This is an SAI Select Services Program; it includes the important on-site services!
Pre-departure and Re-entry services
Housing is not included in SAI Select Services Programs. However, your SAI Admissions Counselor will be happy to provide you with information and recommendations for local housing agencies, as well as school-provided apartments. Students who do not have prior housing arrangements should begin speaking with their Admissions Counselor as soon as possible.
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.
In accordance with Italian law students studying in Italy for 91 or more days are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.
Students must appear in person at the Italian Consulate to present their student visa application. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in getting ready for the appointment; SAI provides student visa consulting for all our students at no cost.
SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.