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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

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Curiosity, Curiosità, Neugier… in the beginning of it all, before anything ever starts, stands bare curiosity… it is the spark, the initiator and the driving force beneath and above everything, if there is one thing we cherish above all others in design and arts-based research, curiosity may be it.  


Curiosity is the raw will to understand and to know… the more we know, the more connections we can make in-order to know more, to generate more… ideas, solutions, possibilities… Curiosity is on that sense the real fountainhead of creativity and the origin of any research.  

Embodying the above, the faculty of Design and Art is focused in its research activities on exploratory, evaluative, and participatory investigations concerning issues and processes related to links between design in its widest sense and the macro areas of society, culture, technology, environment, and economy.

The ongoing goal is to develop and disseminate new knowledge, new practices, new courses of action or a combination of these. Our research activities span from the more classical forms of design such as communication design, product design, design education, design research and history to emerging or established sub-fields engaged within it, or independently, such as to eco-social design, co-design, participatory design, adversarial design, open design - to name just few - and extending over to design related anthropological and sociological issues.

Vice Dean for Research: Prof. Eva Leitolf

Research Cluster

Research Clusters

Our research agenda is responsive to contingent realities. We organize ourselves through three overlapping and complementary research clusters.

Main Research Clusters

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Innovative approaches to the ideation of artefacts and spaces

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Design, art and social practices for political and eco-social transitions 

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Design and art competences, material culture and human development


We cultivate a collaborative culture and specialize in interdisciplinary work relating to ‘the real world’. This allows us to tackle relevant issues of our times by fostering projects with diverse external partners. We constantly nourish and expand our ever-growing network of collaborators, local, national and international enterprises, public administration organizations, cultural institutions and others. We are always open, looking for the next new… challenge and collaboration.

Have a look at the diagram of our Collaborative Ecosystem 2016-18

To our publication library