Coming in the New Year in Milan: the very first master course in food design

On Mar. 30, 2015, just a few weeks prior to the start of EXPO 2015 in Milan (focussing on food and nutrition), the new master course in food design, organized by IULM International University of Languages and Media and SPD Scuola Politecnica di Design, is set to get under way. The two educational institutions will bring together their specific expertise in teaching and research to create a master’s degree that is unique on a world scale, thanks to its structure and content, as well as the prestige of the teaching staff and companies involved.

The master course has arisen from the need to train new professionals on one hand, and to reskill existing ones on the other, in companies and organizations of the “food supply chain” and its related industries. This is because the current competitive system, new consumer needs and new technologies require the development of occupations that are increasingly able to provide innovative contributions, even in the food sector.

The master course is held in collaboration with one of the sector’s most important multinational companies, the PepsiCo Group, which provides a scholarship covering the complete cost of the course and another covering 50 per cent. PepsiCo will also play an active role in the master course, entrusting students with several briefs aimed toward developing innovative projects during workshops. Deserving students will also have the chance to carry out an internship at PepsiCo or with design and communication companies that collaborate with PepsiCo. This research activity will be supervised by Mauro Porcini, chief design officer at PepsiCo, his staff and PepsiCo Italy.

Students will be provided with the skills, and methodological and operational tools to coordinate the design of the following:

• processes and modes of production, distribution and consumption of food products

• venues for the distribution and consumption of food

• food from an aesthetic, communicative and representative point of view

• equipment and utensils for the preparation and enjoyment of food

• communication activities for promoting food products

The program will be characterized by a multidisciplinary approach and will be professionally oriented, offering a balanced combination of lectures, design workshops, testimonials and excursions, alongside an introduction to the food and agricultural system, food technologies, and food and wine culture.

Specifically, the course includes 11 teaching modules: the Food and Agriculture System; Food Science; Food and Wine Culture; Food Marketing & Communication; Food Experience;  Food Design; Food Design: designing food and objects; Food Design: food venues; Food Design: packaging; Food Service Design; Food Design and Tourism.

The master course is open to Italian and International university graduates, will take place in English. and will be taught by designers, university professors, journalists, chefs, managers and leading entrepreneurs in various areas of expertise.

The course will include 580 hours of lessons and, upon completion, a three-month internship in a company, agency or institution of the food and design sector. Excursions will be made to companies in the food sector, a food market, restaurants and important food fairs and events. Guided tours will also be organized to visit Expo2015 and the many events dedicated to food that will take place in Milan.

Says Mauro Porcini, chief design officer at PepsiCo, “In recent years PepsiCo has decided to invest in design as a strategic driver for innovation. We strongly believe that applying design to the realm of food in a broad and holistic way, from food design to the design of a brand identity and its activations, can add great value to all businesses in this sector. That’s why we’ve decided to contribute to the creation of a Master Course in Food Design that will bring together creative young people from all over the world in a dialogue on innovation.”

Additional partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks. In fact, contacts for additional collaborative partners are underway, given that the course has aroused great interest among important companies and institutions, not only in the food sector, but also in other industries which increasingly interact with it: manufacturers of kitchens and catering equipment, design and communication firms, tourist areas, publishers and online portals.

Says Antonello Fusetti, director of Scuola Politecnica di Design, “The Master in Food Design will bring new methodologies to the world of food management and marketing helping it to reinvent itself in a more current and contemporary way, thanks to its interaction with design culture. It will provide the design world with new opportunities to experiment and work in the food sector – an area which still offers many aspects for designers to explore. This kind of initiative could only have arisen in Milan, the capital of design, given that next year it will also become the international food capital during Expo2015.”

For detailed information on the master course, visit