Learning by Prototyping: Wood Design Course Experience

  • Mariano ChernicoffEmail author
Part of the Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering book series (LNCE, volume 24)


Since 2012, a new teaching and learning ethos has been embedded in the prototype design workshop at Politecnico di Milano. This is based on rediscovering the past design traditions in the light of the new present and future technologies. This education experience has been applied in the Wood Design course of the Design School, a teaching course inspired and with roots within the traditional Arts and Crafts academies, but also integrating new tools and skills for design/production of wood products. One of the key features of this course is that students are expected to express their own ideas through usable prototypes, making products and furniture with different styles but always with a high technical and finishing quality. This teaching approach can be associated with Bruno Munari’s motto, when he evokes Confucius saying “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” For these reasons MAKING is the backbone of this course. The focus of the chapter is around the great potential of this way of teaching, through direct constructive activities, to understand how such a practical approach about representation, design and knowledge transmission can become a solid basis education for future generations of designers.


Wood design Prototype Arts and craft Educational innovation Practical approach Knowledge transmission 



Livio Riceputi, assistant of the wood design course. Mattia Favalli, Fabio Manfredini, Camillo Sangiorgio and Matteo Piccoli. Special thanks to all the students, teaching is the most interesting way to learn together!


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Design DepartmentPolytechnic University of MilanMilanItaly

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