In the early eighties, Milan emerged as the epicenter of Italian design. Yet no one in the city was teaching design in a formalized way. Top art critics and designers recognized an extraordinary opportunity to fill this void and mentor the next generation of designers. In 1982, they founded Domus Academy, Italy’s first postgraduate design school.
The founders envisioned a school where students and faculty members from all over the world would meet and exchange ideas. A school that would bring company representatives in to lead real-world projects focusing on the most important aspects of contemporary design.
During the early years, leading designers such as Ettore Sottsass, Alessandro Mendini, Denis Santachiara, and Philippe Starck were involved as lecturers and workshop leaders. Domus Academy quickly developed a strong reputation on the international stage for its “learning by designing” methodology and its humanistic approach, which considers process more important than results and places human beings as the central aspect of any project.
Today, Domus Academy continues to involve top names in the design world as mentors and visiting professors. Students are free to express their personalities in a context that promotes both diligence and mistakes as first steps toward creating a successful project. The school has remained faithful to one of its founding principles: that, rather than just offering new solutions, design must also reveal new problems.