DSGN 196: Milan Interdisciplinary Design Studio

Italy 2013

Dates | Overview | Facts | Academic | Eligibility | Safety | Leader | Costs | Apply

Program Dates

June 24–July 12, 2013

Program Overview

With Italy’s economic recovery from World War II in the 1950s, Milan became home to Italy’s highest concentration of industries, technology, and telecommunications enterprises. And at the intersection of these enterprises, Milan became the unparalleled international center for design, to this day generating a gravitational pull around which the rest of the design world orbits. Milan, perhaps more than any other city in the world, consciously integrates design and art within urban life.

This study abroad experience will immerse students in the design culture of Milan, Italy through a collaborative interdisciplinary studio that draws upon the nature of culture and place of the city itself. Students will gain cultural literacy through related group excursions, field trips, and individual visits to relevant cultural entities in and around Milan such as museums, galleries, showrooms, design studios, etc.

Country Facts

Visit the CIA World Factbook page on Italy for general information about its geography, people, government, economy, transportation, and more.

Academic Program

DSGN 196, The Sense of Place–Milan Interdisciplinary Design Studio (3 units)

This course will incorporate design studio, research and analysis of significant urban spaces and places, interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration, assigned readings and discussion, guest lecturers, site visits and research, as well as field trips.

After completing the course students will be able to:

  • Manage and execute a small professional studio project employing design thinking and teamwork.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of design methodology and analysis, drawing upon collected research material, active participation in lectures and exploration of the city.
  • Prepare and present an oral presentation from the point of view of designer and team member, with the support of digital slides.
  • Design with an enhanced cultural literacy acquired


This program is targeted toward students of graphic design, industrial design, interior design, general design studies, and students pursuing a design minor. Other students may be accepted with the instructor’s consent. As all courses are taught in English, Italian language proficiency is not required.

Accommodation, Safety and Visas

The program will take place at the Nuova Academia di Belle Arti (NABA), Milan’s oldest and first accredited private degree granting design school. Students and faculty will benefit from NABA’s well-appointed campus, state-of-the-art facilities, and accomplished faculty and community of international design students. Housing will be provided near the NABA campus in shared apartments with access to NABA administration and experienced local staff. Participants will be responsible for their own meals but will have the option to purchase meal tickets for the cafeteria at NABA.

As a U.S. passport holder, you will be allowed to enter Italy without a visa for up to 90 days. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay. There is currently no US travel warning for Italy. For more information about safety abroad, visit the US Department of State Travel Information page for Italy.

Program Leader

John Loomis, Design
(408) 924-4687

Estimated Costs

SJSU Special Session Tuition (3 units @ $250 each) 750
Administration Fee 200
Program fees, lodging, class materials, tours, etc. 3,160
Estimated Total $4,110


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