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The Programme: overview

The MA enables students to understand the new social needs of the contemporary age, exploring new scenarios for the global designer. When it is aimed at defining social development strategies, the design is able to valorise human and natural resources, to drive sustainable innovation, to promote local communities development and to activate social evolution dynamics, through a global “coopetitive” approach. 

Over the MA, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn a design methodology crossed with the skills to operate in social, cultural and political initiatives
  • Develop projects aimed to activate social communities and to valorize environmental as well as urban and natural, contexts, through real case studies
  • Acquire the ability to read the social and cultural dynamics and to anticipate the possible future evolutions for the sustainable development of society
STUDY PLAN
<p>The Master of Arts allows students to deepen their knowledge through highly specialised studies and to acquire the theoretical and practical instruments necessary to implement social design projects aimed at developing more sustainable products and services and social and environmental transformation processes.</p> <p>Through training, research and innovation experiences which investigate the new contemporary society needs, students have the opportunity to explore potential scenarios for practicing design in today&rsquo;s and tomorrow&rsquo;s world.<br /><br /></p> <p><strong>FIRST YEAR</strong></p> <p>Introduces students to the main themes of the programme, connecting design, projects of social activation and study of relationship among men, environment and technology, investigating meanings and values of social responsibility.</p> <p>Through workshop experiences and theoretical lectures in community design, anthropology, project methodology, product design, communication design, history of art, environmental design, sociology, brand design, design history, the programme enables students to deepen the different design approaches arising from the study of the community, of the evolution of urban and natural spaces, of social and cultural networks.<br />&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>SECOND YEAR</strong></p> <p>Students acquire the capacity of developing and managing the complexity of a social project applied to real case studies, through the experimental social design labs and studies in ecology and economy, co-design and public policies, light design, art direction.</p> <p>The cross-disciplinary workshops and the different project experiences of research and innovation in the social design field reinforce students knowledge and skills of necessary strategies for a conscious design in the cultural and social context, and enable them to acquire a methodological approach suitable for professional career.</p>

Department: Design and Applied Arts

Area: Design

Title Awarded: Second Level Academic Degree in Design

Credits: 120 CFA

Starting: February 2022

Duration: 2 years

Languages: Italian and English

Campus: Milan

Our Faculty

Luca Poncellini
Design and Applied Arts Department Head
Design and Applied Arts Department Head
Luca Poncellini
<p><strong>Design and Applied Arts Department Head</strong></p> <p>Luca Poncellini is an architect and a designer with a PhD in the History of Architecture and City Planning. As a partner in the architecture office Cliostraat until 2009, he has curated projects and has lectured in Italy and in several countries throughout the world. His works have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, at the Van Alen Institute in New York, at ETH in Z&uuml;rich, at MAGA in Gallarate and at Triennale Milano. In 2008 he co-curated the retrospective exhibition Laszlo Hudec, in collaboration with the Hungarian Consulate in Shanghai. Since 2013 he has been the Course Leader of the MA in Interior Design. Between 2015 and 2019 directed the research lab and the project C-Park. Since 2019 he has been Design and Applied Arts Department Head.</p>
Claudio Larcher
Design Area Leader
Design Area Leader
Claudio Larcher
<p>Born in Milan, he graduated in Architecture at Politecnico di Milano. After a research period in Spain, in Madrid and Barcelona, in 2002 he founded his own studio, Modoloco Design Workshop, a space for experimentation and research, where diverse cultures and experiences are implemented as architectural and design forms. He has taught at the Faculty of Design and Arts of the Free University of Bozen, at Politecnico di Milano, and lectured in Italian and international institutions. He curated and participated in several exhibitions in Italy, Japan, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Sweden. Ambassador of Italian Design for Switzerland, Albany and Uruguay in 2017, 2018, 2019, he is the author of the books Globetrotting designers (Compositori), Design, scuola e solidariet&agrave; (Fausto Lupetti), Design from the Alps (Scheidegger Und Spiess), and Disegnare un cucchiaio per cambiare la citt&agrave; (Quodlibet).</p>
Valentina Dalla Costa
Master of Arts in Social Design Course Advisor Leader
Master of Arts in Social Design Course Advisor Leader
Valentina Dalla Costa
<p>She studied design between Milan, Berlin and China, before specialising in History of Art and Architecture. Journalist, consultant, art and architecture historian. She&rsquo;s been teaching at NABA since 2008, has collaborated over the years with Casa Vogue, La Stampa, DDN, Living Corriere and currently writes for Pambianco Design. The editorial activity is flanked by the enhancement of the world of design: for over ten years she&rsquo;s been organising thematic itineraries linked to the artistic and architectural heritage of the city of Milan, with a particular focus on designers, craftsmen and architects. She is part of Como Lake Design Festival team, curating editorial contents and cultural itineraries. Among the latest publications, <em>Drawing a spoon to change the city</em>, written with Claudio Larcher, Design Area Leader, and published by Quodlibet for the NABA Insights series. Since 2020 she is Course Advisor Leader of the MA programmes of NABA Design Area.</p>

Study and career opportunities

Study abroad programmes

NABA provides students with the opportunity to study abroad as part of their academic experience.
NABA Academic Coordination Office, in charge for the management of the exchange programmes, supports students in taking advantage of the international study opportunities through exchange programmes and promoting educational experiences thanks to a network including numerous prestigious international partner universities.


NABA counts more than 70 cooperation agreements with academies and universities through the Erasmus+ Programme in Europe and others international cooperation agreements with several universities outside Europe.

Companies and institutions placement

NABA has developed strong relationships with leading companies which provide internships for NABA students. Among them are: Armani Hotel, Giulio Iacchetti, Studio Bestenheider, Vittorio Martini 1866, Giochi Preziosi, Intégral Ruedi Baur et Associés, The Swatch Group, Giorgio Armani, Pininfarina Extra, Tagua, Azimut-Benetti, Bonetto Design International, Alta Design & Engineering, AAAHHHAAA, Forchets, Studio di architettura Amedeo Guidobono Cavalchini, Aldo Cibic – Cibicworkshop, Progetto CMR Engineering, Integrated Services S.r.l., Abad Architetti S.r.l., Festina Italia, Zanotta, Luxottica, Studio Italo Rota & Partners, Giugiaro Architettura, Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Luceplan, Ikea Italia Retail, 3M ITALIA, Yellow Office, Studio Lissoni Associati, Studio Barreca & Lavarra, Uragano Studio, Veneta Cucine, Dado Arredamenti.

After the Master of Arts

Kick-off your career. Among the career opportunities:

  • Project development manager
  • Communication designer
  • Product designer
  • Social designer
  • Environmental designer
  • Community designer 
  • Event designer
  • Strategic planner
  • Public policy manager
  • Design consultant