ISIA Roma Design, a state school of design under the aegis of the Ministry of Public Education, was founded in 1973 by Giulio Carlo Argan. It sprang from the need to train highly professional designers who would uphold the fine European intellectual and teaching tradition, following in the footsteps of the Bauhaus and the Hochschule fur Gestaltung of Ulm. From these schools it inherited and developed a methodological framework of excellence which it combined with Italians' great talent for creativity and innovation. ISIA Roma Design is the only European university to have been awarded the ADI "Golden Compass" prize two times and eight times the ADI “Gold Plate”, as well as numerous other prestigious awards.
ISIA Roma Design considers the act of designing as an essential moment in the dialectic exchange and interaction between the individual and society, in demand and sustainability, expression and reflection, considering Design as a configuration of excellence in every type of production of instruments and ideas. After forty years of activity, based on research and experimentation, the school today can boast of a rich cultural heritage as well as scientific and teaching experience practically unequalled in Italy. It is therefore in a position to provide students with the tools to understand the deep socio-economic and technological changes taking place and to translate them into their creative work, qualifying the designer as both bearer of a renewed material culture and as interpreter of the immateriality of our times.
Thanks to constant relations with international partners and investment in research laboratories (since 2011 ISIDE Research Lab, a laboratory for the development of pure and applied research in the design field has been in operation in Rome) the students of I.S.I.A. Roma Design are encouraged to use methods and tools aimed at the full expression of the knowledge and the critical and creative capacities they have acquired, giving them the opportunity to carry out projects and prototypes of great interest to Design-oriented companies, creating an awareness of complexity and the ability to assume project responsibility for company systems.
After entering, (a five-year high school graduation diploma or equivalent is required), students of ISIA Roma Design who complete the three-year course in “Industrial Design” (the equivalent of a three-year degree) are granted a first-level academic diploma and a second-level diploma (equivalent to a Master's degree) upon completion of a further two- year course specializing in "Systems Design". This second cycle of studies in particular roots its methodological construction and its applicative derivatives on the most modern theories of chaos and complexity which have changed the paradigms of science and are essential for the study and the design of complex systems increasingly present in our human activity.
In the last few years, decentralized three-year courses have begun in Pescara and Pordenone.