Undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by the University iuav of Venice:

educational programme


The four universities of the consortium have adopted a common structure for their syllabi and courses.


design studios

Design studios form the core of each semester’s programme. They account for half of the content in the three core semesters (15 ECTS/semester) and integrate the knowledge obtained within other lecture courses and seminars (optional and compulsory components) – thus integrating theory, methods/approaches, tools/techniques and the design studio in a comprehensive and cohesive manner. In design studios, students develop analytical exercises, strategies and scenarios at different scales in which they discuss and apply the challenges of current urban and territorial design, while also regarding implementation and management issues.


key issues

The joint programme is strengthened by focusing on a set of key issues (to be periodically reviewed and up-dated)which reflect contemporary challenges within cities and territories. The key issues frame the design studios and courses, together with the design operations through which research/design can be configured as knowledge producer.


Key issues and design operations across the scales provide the students with a structure to orient their individual education tracks and establish close relations with existing and future researches developed by the four Universities. The integration of research and education capacities will give a contribution to widen the actual debate in a broader academic and international context.


The key issues include: Emerging Cities, Territories of Dispersion, Mobility and Network Cities, Post-industrial Sites, Cultural Landscapes


- Emerging Cities primarily concerns the rapid transformation of cities and territories. The issues of global pressures versus local resistance and identity are of central concern.

- Territories of Dispersion deals with an extended use of the territory, including new ways of working and living. If considered as a new form of settlement, these territories need to rethink the types and techniques of their infrastructure.

- Mobility and Network Cities focuses on innovations and developments in technology and infrastructural systems which allow a re-conceptualization of cities – such as urban polycentric regions, new centralities, urban agglomerations, city clusters, airport cities, etc.

- Post-industrial Sites investigates obsolete and marginal urban areas that provide new opportunities for urban restructuring. At a territorial scale, the notion of ‘shrinking cities’ requires re-thinking of the notion of development.

- Cultural Landscapes deals with a number of issues, including conservation through transformation, planning based on revaluation of heritage resources and identity in relation to globalization.


research bydesign

The core of the programme relies upon a series of design operations across the scales, through which research/design can be configured as knowledge producer.

- Research/design through Description: the descriptive dimension of design; an instrument to read and interpret complexity;

- Research/design through Conceptualization: the conceptual and analytical dimension of design;

- Research/design through Scenarios: the hypothetical dimension of design; an instrument to construct discussions on possible futures

- Research/design through Strategies: the process-oriented dimension of design


previous publications

The publications related to the design workshops (L. Fabian, P. Vigan˛, Extreme City, IUAV Press, 2010; E. Giannotti, P. Vigan˛, Our common risk, 2012; L. Fabian, E. Giannotti, P. Vigan˛, Recycling City, 2012) show the interesting relationship between the didactics, research and international exchange. Moreover, they are a qualitative description of the student works, demonstrating the capability to develop articulate proposals and to communicate them in an effective way.