The First Level Academic Diploma in “Social Innovation Design” is aimed at creating a new generation of creative leaders able to understand and manage the increasing social challenges of our era.

In recent years, investments in new models aimed at accelerating innovation and private and institutional funding in the social field and third sector have created the need for a growing number of professionals able to operate successfully in these contexts.

Students will acquire useful skills in order to activate and manage innovation and change processes based on the intersection of design, social innovation, and management. Through the study of the evolution of social sciences, they’ll develop critical thinking necessary to identify, analyze and tackle current social challenges, pinpointing the actors to be involved in the change process.

Within this approach, design act as the necessary tool in order to devise strategies aimed at generating and coordinating innovation within public entities, companies, third sector and individuals for the shared solution of social, economic and environmental challenges. The course is also characterized by lessons aimed at building the foundations of culture and analysis of social and economic processes and of the functioning models of companies and organizations.

The acquisition of contemporary tools for economic analysis and business management is essential for the effective implementation and management of innovative processes. The course combines theoretical and conceptual lessons with application disciplines developed through exercises and innovative projects carried out in collaboration with national and international partners.


Department President: Geoff Mulgan

Strategic Director: Gianpaolo Barozzi

Coordinator of the First Level Academic Diploma: Marco Zappalorto


I level Academic Diploma in Design (DIPL01)
Specialization in Innovation Design

Seat: Turin

Language: Italian


Three-year course syllabus

scientific-academic area

learning environment


History and culture of communication

– History of visual communication

– Culture and graphic of design

Sciences of communication

Theory of communication

Graphic techniques

Layout techniques

Multimedia techniques

Digital imaging

Communication sociology and anthropology

Communication sociology

Representation methods and tools

Representation methods and tools




Communication design

– Art direction

– Brand identity

– Social communication

– Web project management

Communication techniques and languages

– Media copywriting

– Brand communication

Design methodology

Design methodology

Product design

Packaging design

Communication design / Systems design

Characterizing subjects annually activated by Academic Board




Multimedia design

– Multimedia software

– Multimedia design

Sciences and languages of perception

Theory of perception

Economy and business management


Professional activity management

Professional activity management

Analysis and representation of shape and project

Representation techniques and languages

Image graphic design

– Illustration

– Graphic design

– Type design



English language












total CREDITS 180

Innovation design, schedule for the current academic year

The opening of the academic year is expected in the first week of October, with the usual ceremony.

The ordinary lessons begin 1 week after, according to the time-schedule, and take place from Monday to Friday, while activities on Saturday can occasionally be inserted. Any extraordinary lectures and seminars are provided with due notice.

Lessons ordinarily follow the schedule published on the Notice Board before the beginning of each semester.

It’s a good idea to check the daily schedule posted on the Notice Board to check for any changes and classrooms in which lessons take place.


Academic Year Opening
– 2nd and 3rd years: October
– 1st years: October

I Semester
– 2nd and 3rd years: October / January
– 1st years: October / January

Design Workshop – only 2nd and 3rd years
– February

II Semester
– February / May

Exams and thesis:
– I ordinary session: February
– II ordinary session: June (1st and 2nd years)
– II ordinary session: June (3rd years)
– I extraordinary session: June
– II extraordinary session: September
– Thesis Ordinary Session: June / July


Weeks off ordinary lessons:

– February (1st years)
– January / Febbraio (2nd and 3rd years)
– June

During these weeks, students are required to ensure the availability to participate in any additional classes or catch lessons.
The schedule is subject to changes which will be duly communicated.

Innovation design, informations about the exam sessions of the current academic year

Students are admitted to the examination sessions (2 per academic year) only if they are up to date with payments, are not over the minimum attendance required and – if any – have successfully passed the midterm checks for each subject.

In case of failure of one or more examinations in the ordinary session, students will have access to the call of the extraordinary exam sessions (2 per academic year).

The procedures to access the exam sessions are contained in the Institute Regulation, given annually to students and available at the Didactic Office.

Exams and thesis:
– 1st ordinary session: February 
– 2nd ordinary session: June (1st and 2nd years)
– 2nd ordinary session: June (3rd years)
– 1st extraordinary session: June 
– 2nd extraordinary session: September 
– Thesis Ordinary Session: from June to July 

Innovation design, thesis

To achieve the qualification at the end of the third year of the course, IAAD students must submit two theses: a Specialization thesis and an Individual thesis, in addition to the Personal Portfolio.

The Specialization thesis different for each specialization, to be carried out in working groups, is the realization of a project specified by the Institute, consistent with the various issues of the syllabus.

The Specialization thesis is held under the supervision of the Department Co-ordinator and the 3rd year professors, with the support of external interventions – partner companies and their referents.

The Individual Thesis consists of an individual project that the student will perform in total autonomy, identifying a theme, a partner with its referent (External Mentor) and a supervisor in the faculty IAAD (Academic Mentor).

The ordinary session of the thesis is planned for each year in July.

In addition to this culture and sensitivity to the ‘new languages’, what else is needed?

You also need the technical knowledge, what we now call ‘technicalities’. Just to begin, you need to master or better to rule the roost the software, especially the suite Adobe. Shouldn’t you like it, but today Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign (and not After Effects, Premiere and Dreamweaver too?) are the masters. There is more and more specialistic: Maya for 3D modelingAvid or Final Cut for video post-production, Joomla or Word Press for cms.
About the knowledge of the software, at IAAD we don’t admit exceptions: we lock you in the lab until you are able to use these tools in a state of somnambulism.
Among the technicalities that we consider absolutely essential, we include also typography or the knowledge of the font and the fundamentals of their design. If you don’t think it is an important issue you can read the story of Cyrus Highsmiths, the designer who wondered if the contemporary man could live without all the objects characterized by the presence of the Helvetica font. The answer, needless to say, was negative.
The same applies to the colors that, as the Chinese knew and Goethe knew too and we hope you know as well, greatly affect the psyche of the people and in particular the unconscious sphere. Who chooses the right ‘palette’ is already half done, maybe even further.
In the digital environment, finally, SEO (Social Media Optimization) and SMO (Social Media Optimization) techniques have become indispensable knowledge. IAAD of course has prepared a course ad hoc.

And creativity?

We get there, but first we have to explain something. In IAAD we are not Romantic. The Romantics believed that creativity is prerogative of genius, an extraordinary being who creates in perfect solitude drawing directly to the source of divine or of unconscious. For the Romantics, genius you become, it is by birth, and all those genes that are not are doomed to the rank of vulgar imitators. Imitators of whom? But of genius, of course.
In our opinion, this romantic view is not only wrong, but also poisonous. We think that a little talent and a good predisposition are helpful, but then you become a creative, that almost anyone can become. Anyway, if it weren’t so, what would IAAD exist for? The truth is that the much-vaunted fantasy (or ‘creative imagination) in the end is nothing but associative capacity: the creative creates associations between words, sounds, images and graphemes, bolder and wilder than those produced by those who habitually are not creative. Gianni Rodari called them ‘fantastic binomial’. We are paid for it, to produce fantastic binomial, surprising associations, which others cannot reach. And the good news is that the associative capacity can be developed, it is like a muscle that you train in the gym. IAAD is a gym for associative muscles development and the tools are called benchmarking, mind mapping, brainstorming, card sorting… Are you ready for the mind-fitness?

It seems that this course trains supermen.

No supermen, only good fishermen. After all, what else is a creative if not a keen fisherman always looking the mythical fish with scales of gold? The wise fisherman first studies carefully the prey, in particular it habits, because to put in a trap someone must know habits. What feeds our dear fish? In what corner of the lake does it retreat to eat? Where does it sleep? Where does it flirt, and how?
The art of stalking begins always with the stakeout. Day after day, week after week, the fisherman patiently studies its prey, until suddenly realizes to be synchronized. It is a feeling, an inner conviction: he and the fish have become one and sometimes he even seems to know just before what the fish will do, where it will go, how it will behave. This is the right time to tend traps, place the bait and carry out the ambush. However it ends, and usually it ends well, this fisherman has earned our esteem and our respect. The esteem and respect that you owe a genuine creative.

If I understand correctly, after IAAD, when I am an experienced fisherman I can go to work as art director or copywriter.

Even, then, in addition to those you mentioned, there are illustrator, visualizer, packaging designers, photographers, web designers, app designer, writer, fashion designer, event managers, production designer, video maker, type designer, logo designer, account, marketing consultant, public relations manager, animation designer… They’re not so few! What do you think?