The Interaction Design Institute Ivrea was a two year Masters program in Interaction Design offered between 2001-2006 in Ivrea, Italy.
It was the only one of its kind at the time, offering students bursaries, housing, and the opportunity to learn about creative coding, physical computing, service design and more at a time when these industries were just emerging.
The international cohorts of students (generally less than 20) were multi-disciplinary and spanned several age groups. The course was taught in English.
International speakers came to give talks and work with staff on collaborative projects. Companies paid to run ‘Applied Dreams’, two-week long briefs they would set students who would respond with design ideas.
The first batch of Arduino was trialed on students in 2006, building on the Wiring board, a student project.
The school was based in Ivrea until autumn 2005 where, due to funding cuts from its main sponsor Telecom Italia, it was moved to a studio space in the same building as Domus Academy in Milan.
Students who had applied for the 2005-7 cohort were offered spaces in Domus Academy.
By the summer 2006, the last cohort of 17 students to have studied in Ivrea had graduated.
This site is published by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, one of the students of this last cohort before the program was transferred to Domus permanently and offered as a one year course. She holds the only remaining copies of 2006 graduation certificates which Domus staff gave to her. If you need a copy, get in touch with her.
Find out more:
The historic website (Flash site with many broken links)
John Thackara’s blog post about helping set up the institute.
The airport and the convent by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino (a picture book available for purchase online)
Announcement of 2019 UNESCO protection for Olivetti sites in Ivrea.