Milano, the Capital of Design
Posted by Andy Steves in on September 15, 2010.
At 8 o’clock this Friday morning my friends and I got on a train to Milan. I had a full schedule that day. Beyond visiting the tourist sites, I wanted to take care of a few other things. First I’ve been seeking a design internship in Milan and wanted to meet with one opportunity. I also wanted to check out a school I was looking at for this summer. And third, visit the Politecnico di Milano and see about their master’s program in design.
Our train rolled into the station 25 minutes late and I told my friends I’d call them later as I bolted to my first appointment, which was luckily only a 15-minute walk from the station. This place ran a language school and also could set up internships with local businesses. There, I came upon an oasis of Italian language learning. All these obviously foreign students, mostly Asian, were struggling through their newly-learned Italian. It had a buzz to it. Two years ago I found a language school in Cefalu, Sicily where I studied for a short stint during the summer. There, students awkwardly communicated with each other, and quickly resorted to English. After a meeting with a particularly attractive representative (I swear she must have been chosen based on her pretty face) I got the sense that as far as design goes, it was considered just a branch of architecture.
After that I headed to my next appointment. I hopped on the metro and ended up on the other side of town. The Domus Academy is a graduate school of design: industrial, graphic, fashion, interior, etc. I had found a summer school for product design that spends two weeks in London, then finishes with two weeks in Milan at the Domus Academy, so I wanted to check it out. I practiced my Italian with a professor, and we discussed the curriculum of the summer program, which looks very attractive. That is probably where I’ll be this summer. It will be the first summer out of 3 where I’m not an assistant guide on tours for my dad. When I mentioned I was heading over to the Politecnico di Milano next, the professor said “Domus Accademy e fra le migliori scuole di disegno del mondo,” meaning that place was among the best design schools in the world and they threw a handful of brochures at me. With some new information and a few business cards, I took off and headed across town.
My third stop in the afternoon took me to the northern suburbs of Milan, döner kebab in hand, where the design school of the Politecnico di Milano is located. After graduation at Notre Dame, I want to pursue a master's degree in design and I figure Milan is the capital of the design world so why not study there? It would let me work on my Italian as well as pick up some contacts in the Italian industry. At the Politecnico, they have all sorts of masters available--I would pursue either transportation or yacht design. The yacht design campus is out on the coast in La Spezia, which is essentially the sixth town of the Cinque Terre. Paradise, in other words. After a short tour of the massive studios and workshops I left really liking the place. If you want to find me in a few years, that’s where I’ll be.
I chose to do this rather than book my own trip in Rome - I wanted to experience one organized/sight-seeing trip rather than a relaxing vacation like many of my others had been. Two friends and I signed up for WSA Rome and don't regret a thing. We met wonderful people, were led by an awesome tour guide Rhianne, and got to see everything I wanted to see in Rome. Plus eat all the best food. There is an optional dinner on the last night that we didn't do right away, but we ended up going to it, and it was SO worth the 20 euro. I made memories and friends, and got to see a beautiful, historic city thanks to WSA!!Mallory Dirks, Simpson College ~ University of Roehampton, London, Fall 2015
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