background stories

University of San Marino Republic

University of San Marino Republic

We've been fortunate enough to have had two great interns studying Design at the University of San Marino Republic. First Alisia Pellegrini did an apprenticeship with us and than Elena Francioni. San Marino is an enclave State in Southern Europe that is completely surrounded by Italy.

A year later, locked down by COVID19, Alisia had asked Carolijn to have an online meeting with her and fourteen of the fellow students for a study course. She told them about our studio and how we work and they had interesting questions. Some question were about how to deal with copycats. Of course there are some ways to prevent your design from being copied. But Carolijn couldn’t quite answer the question on how to protect an interface design.

There is a difference between the Dutch and the San Marino way of teaching design. Dutch design educations predominantly focus on either 2D or 3D design, but teaching a combination of both is rare. Also, the Dutch seem to distinguish between conceptual design and industrial design. In the University of San Marino’s curriculum graphic design and product design are intertwined right till the end.

The philosophy of the Univercity of San Marino Republic is that;

“The changing context of contemporary design, characterized by the growing number of multimedia tools and digital devices, requires a specific approach to these new areas of design with a critical and responsible attitude”.

The students also had questions about our approach to a circular economy and how we translates this into our designs. It was clear that sustainability was veryimportant to these students, and it really resonated with them that in the Netherlands this is already a common target in design education. Another interesting difference we found was that Dutch tend to set up our own ‘self-centred’ studio’s’ trying to save the world on our own using design as a storyteller. The San Marino students are trained to work as a team and find a job in a design company. This is also why they make such great inters; they contribute instead of trying to score points of each other.

They asked what book to obtain to learn more about circular economy and design. After searching around for one we'd recommend:

THE RE-USE ATLAS | a designer's guide towards a circular economy, by Duncan Baker-Brown.