The best of italian design, made in Polimi.

We searched the ADI Design Index 2023, the antechamber of the prestigious Compasso d'Oro: dozens of Politecnico graduates are among the best Made in Italy designers.

The ADI DESIGN INDEX 2023 brings together the best products and services from all sectors of Italian design, selected each year by ADI as a pre-selection for the Compasso d'Oro Award, the oldest and most prestigious industrial design award in the world, held every two years.

This year, 238 projects "made it" and entered the INDEX 2023. Together with the selection for 2022, they will complete a particularly important series of events: the preparation for the XXVIII edition of the Compasso d'Oro, which will be held in 2024 to mark the 70th anniversary of the award, which was born in 1954 from an idea by Politecnico alumnus Gio Ponti, thanks to the support of Rinascente.


Design is a special discipline. There are big names, stars and masters who populate this Olympus, but creativity is unpredictable and it is not uncommon for even the very young to be admitted to this pantheon. In particular, the Targa Giovani is the prize that the Compasso D'Oro jury reserves for young designers who enter projects, self-productions, studies or research that are the subject of a thesis or final examination. Of the 19 projects selected for the 2023 edition, eight come from the School of Design of the Politecnico di Milano.

Discover them here

In an interview with Interni Magazine, Professor Francesco Zurlo notes: "Among the 19 selections for Targa Giovani there are few traditional associated products and a lot of research and experimentation. Professor Zurlo is Dean of the School of Design at the Politecnico di Milano and a member of the Scientific Committee of the ADI Permanent Design Observatory, the body responsible for selecting product candidates for the INDEX. In the interview, he highlights two particular elements of this edition: sustainability and inclusiveness, leitmotifs of contemporary Italian design and polytechnic thinking.


The School and Department of Design are also represented in the overall selection with projects, products and research. They were joined by many alumni, designers and planners who presented individual or, more often, collaborative works. Increasingly, design is tackling complexity in a collaborative and interdisciplinary way. Not just beautiful objects, as we are often used to thinking of design: a beautiful lamp, a chair or a dress; there are also designer objects, but among the selections of the ADI Design Index 2023 are many service design projects, for social and communication, editorial projects, online platforms and applications. It is a snapshot of a growing trend that highlights the role of design as a discipline that reforms and innovates processes and interprets the classic combination of form and function.

We tried to track down all the designers, alumni of the Politecnico di Milano, involved in the ADI Design Index 2023. We sifted through all the projects and found more than 50 of them, some as protagonists and some as sidekicks. But surely we must have missed some of them. We are counting on the Alumni Community, as always, to fill this gap. We should also remember that design is a collaborative discipline par excellence, which is why the objects and projects we present are often the work of several hands.

With that necessary disclaimer, let's see what this snapshot of contemporary design has to offer.

Design for Living is traditionally the largest category.

  • ALINE⠀a series of high-tech but hand-finished taps designed by designer Marco (Architecture alumnus 1976)
  • CABANON, which interprets the original spirit of the sauna, designed by Rodolfo Dordoni (Architecture alumnus 1979), who died in August 2023.
  • Dordoni also made GHISAㅤa collection of aluminium radiators.
  • Ilaria Marelli (Architecture alumnus 1997) presents COMO, a collection based on the theme of outdoor fire, developed on the basis of single-material products that are easy to dispose of at the end of their useful life.
  • Designed by Antonio Citterio (Architecture alumnus 1975) ESOSOFTis a collection of modular seating.
  • ICON⠀by Marcello Ziliani (Architecture alumnus 1988), is a collection of adaptable and enveloping seating.
  • INGIRO, by Lorenzo Damiani (Architecture alumnus 1999), is a shower system that can be positioned anywhere and operated with the touch of a foot; ⠀
  • LEVA, a handle with minimal visual and environmental impact, is by Park Associati, a studio founded by Filippo Pagliani (Engineering PhD alumnus 2008) and Michele Rossi (Architecture alumnus 1991).
  • Piero Lissoni (Architecture alumnus 1985) takes up the theme of seating with⠀ MJNA,
  • As does Alessandro Stabile (younger, 2007 graduate of Poli in Industrial Design) with OTO CHAIR and TACO.
  • Lissoni also brings us POCHETTE, an armchair designed for adaptability.
  • The REEF armchair, by Michele Menescardi (Industrial Design alumnus 2004), has been designed with an eco-sustainable and circular approach in every component.
  • OPTICAL TRIPS, is a collection of tiles by Meneghello Paolelli Studio, founded by 2004 alumni Marco Paolelli (Product Design) and Sandro Meneghello (Industrial Design).
  • Patricia Urquiola (Architecture alumnus 1989) presents the SIMOON⠀collection of tables made from recycled Murano glass.
  • Designed by Paolo Belloni (Architecture alumnus 1993), the WALL BOX BE-T is a home charging station and its sister WALL BOX BE-D (in the Design for Work category).
  • A place of honour goes to Lighting Design, which we open with CHIAROSCURA, a floor lamp that experiments with the functional enhancement of the luminator to emit only indirect light upwards. It was designed by Alberto Meda, a designer born in 1945 who graduated in mechanical engineering from the Politecnico di Milano in 1969.
  • Paolo Rizzatto (born in 1941 and graduated in Architecture in 1965) presents FIGAROQUA FIGAROLÀan unconstrained lighting system inspired by the traditional candle lamp.
  • MINI GEEN-A, by Ferruccio Laviani (Architecture alumnus 1986) reinterprets the reading lamp.
  • Also by Dordoni, NILE is a lamp-sculpture whose composition of volumes explores the balance between opposites.
  • In the field of Design for Mobility, we can mention THEFALCON, a 3D-printed bicycle by Romolo Stanco (Architecture alumnus 2000);
  • SP110by Lissoni, a boat born from research into technologies with low environmental impact (SP stands for Smart Performance);
  • V100 MANDELLO, a motorcycle designed for Piaggio's 100th anniversary, equipped with adaptive aerodynamics and bearing the stamp of Marco Lambri (Architecture alumnus 1998).

We open the Design for Work category

  • JOVENA® by Studio Volpi, whose many alumni include Patrizio Cionfoli (Industrial Design alumnus 1999): it is a medical device made up of a trolley with a unit that, through special handpieces, allows different treatments: non-invasive microsurgery, diathermy and contraction combined in a single radio frequency source to reach the muscles and deepest layers.
  • KSA is a family of high-volume industrial systems using Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) technology to replace more polluting electroplating processes in sectors such as automotive. It was designed by Lorenzo De Bartolomeis (Industrial Design 2005).
  • PERFECT BREATH, a contribution by Giuseppe Modeo (Architecture alumnus 2006), is an air filtration device that prevents the accumulation of bacteria and mould.
  • CANCELLATO UNIFORM by Diletta Cancellato (Fashion Design alumnus 2012) in the Design for the Person category, is a clothing line for young and old that combines craftsmanship with new 3D knitting technologies: clothes that can adapt to any physique, age, gender and physical ability.
  • ECO+ RACE CAR, a range of toy cars for children aged 12 months and over, is the result of a collaboration with Bice Dantona (Communication Design alumnus 2011).
  • Lorenzo Palmieri (Architecture alumnus 1993) presents NEMO, an upright piano with a curved front.
  • VENUSIA is a jewellery collection designed by Elena Salmistraro (Industrial Design alumnus 2008).
  • For food design, we have FARFALLA, a nutcracker designed in 1998 by Enzo Mari and as yet unreleased (Enzo Mari);
  • LAVAZZA TINY ECO, for which we mention Angelica Rella (2015 Product Design alumnus)
  • PIETRO GRINDERS, a coffee grinder by Valerio Cometti (2001 Mechanical Engineering alumnus).
  • In the category Design of Materials and Technological Systems: IDRO ROYALE, a single-component water-based finish by Raffaella Mangiarotti (Alumna Architettura 1991);
  • MATHERA, a panel produced using only end-of-life wood, by Diego Grandi (Architecture alumnus 1999);

Let's get out of the tangible with the Service Design:

  • ESPERTO RISPONDE, created with the help of Giacomo Flaim (Communication Design alumnus 2019), is a service of the Il Sole 24 Ore that allows readers of the newspaper to ask questions on tax and legal matters directly to experts in the field.
  • The Dotdotdot studio, founded by Laura Dellamotta and Giovanna Gardi, 2002 architecture graduates, 2003 industrial design graduate Fabrizio Pignoloni and researcher Alessandro Masserdotti, has produced the FONDAZIONE LUIGI ROVATI PLATFORM, a digital system designed for the Foundation's new art museum.
  • NEXI PLANET CARE NEXI PLANET CARE is a service available through the Nexi Pay app that helps raise awareness of sustainable purchasing choices: we mention it because Nexi's CEO is Paolo Bertoluzzo, Management Engineering alumnus of 1990, and given the times, it seemed important.
  • Speaking of SOSTENIBILITÀ 10 E LODE is a deck of 96 cards designed as a team building tool on corporate sustainability by Nicoletta Crisponi (Industrial Design alumnus 2011)..
  • In Design for Social, SHERLOCK, CONCIERGE INCLUSIVOis an object intended for the severely visually impaired, which allows them to acquire information about tourist sites through audio descriptions: how a room is organised, where the sockets are, how the bathroom is laid out, etc. It is the work of the Hackability collective, which we mention because its founder is an alumnus. Francesco Rodighiero, Industrial Design 2003.
  • In the category Ricerca per l’Impresa we can find the BESTIARIO DI INTELLIGENZA ARTIFICIALEa book for adults and children that tells the story of artificial intelligence through the stories of eight imaginary creatures, by Francesca Fiocchi (Industrial Design alumnus 2008)
  • CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE HUB, a personnel selection process based on design thinking, by Amploom (company founded by Serena Leonardi, Product Service System Design alumnus 2013);
  • COLLABORATION MAXIMIZER, a collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières by Roberta Tassi (Communication Design alumnus 2008): a new working model for a humanitarian NGO;
  • And finally POLARIS®, an infographic creation designed by Lorenzo De Bartolomeis to define the continuous search for a working method in a group.