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Valentina Rognoli is Associate Professor in the Design Department at the School of Design, Politecnico di Milano. Here, she studied, and began her academic carrier focused on Materials for Design. She has been a pioneer in this field, starting almost twenty years ago and establishing an internationally recognised expertise on the topic both in research and education. For her PhD, she undertook a unique and innovative study on a key but a little treated topic that is the expressive-sensorial dimension of materials of Design and their experiential aspects. This research has greatly influenced the teaching methodologies on materials at the School of Design.

At present, her research and teaching activities are focusing on pioneering and challenging topics as DIY-Materials for social innovation and sustainability; Bio-based and circular Materials; Urban Materials and Materials from Waste and food Waste; Materials for interactions and IoT (ICS Materials); Speculative Materials; Tinkering with materials, Materials Driven Design method, CMF design, emerging materials experiences, and material education in the field of Design.

At the institutional level, she was involved for the last two year in the Technical and Scientific Committee of the Product Design course as supervisor of the internationalisation process, and part of the Board of Professors of the PhD Programme in Design.

She participates as principal investigator in a European Project called Made, co-funded by Creative Europe Programme of The European Union, which aims at boosting talents towards circular economies across Europe (

Moreover, she is the author of over 50 publications. She organised international workshops and events, invited speaker and reviewer for relevant journals and international conferences. Many international scholars recognised in the scientific community follow, inspire and appreciate her research and educational approach.


Associate Professor – Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Director of Materials Design for Transition Group – Italy

Operational Manager of LeNSlab Polimi  – Italy
Co-Founder and Co-Head of Materials Experience Lab – Netherlands


  1. Ayala-Garcia, C., Rognoli, V. (2017) The New Aesthetic of DIY-Materials,The Design Journal, 20:sup1, S375-S389

  2. Karana, E., Giaccardi, E., Rognoli, V. (2017) Materially Yours. In book: Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Product Design, Publisher: Routledge, Ed. Jonathan Chapman, pp.206-221

  3. Parisi, S., Rognoli, V., Sonneveld, M.H.  (2017) Material Tinkering. An inspirational approach for experiential learning and envisioning in product design education, The Design Journal, 20:sup1, S1167-S1184

  4. Rognoli, V., Ayala-Garcia, C. (2017) Material Activism. New hybrid scenarios between design and technology. Cuadernos 70 Journal, Universidad de Palermo, N 70-2018 pp. 105-115 ISSN 1668-0227.

  5. Rognoli, V., Ayala-Garcia, C., Bengo, I. (2017) DIY-Materials as enabling agents of innovative social practices and future social business in: Proceedings of International Congress of Design FORMA 2017, Cuba. (On Press).

  6. Ayala-Garcia, C., Rognol, V., Karana, E. (2017). Five Kingdoms of DIY Materials for Design. In Alive. Active. Adaptive: Proceedings of International Conference on Experiential Knowledge and Emerging Materials (EKSIG 2017), June 19-20, Delft, the Netherlands, pp. 222-234.

  7. Sauerwein, M., Karana, E., Rognoli, V. (2017) Revived Beauty: Research into Aesthetic Appreciation of Materials to Valorise Materials from Waste in Sustainability 9(4), 529. April 2017.

  8. Parisi S., Rognoli V., Ayala C. (2016). Designing Materials Experiences through Passing of Time, Material Driven Design Method applied to Mycelium based Composites. In: Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2016 pp.239-255.

  9. Rognoli V., Ayala C., Parisi S., (2016). The emotional value of Do-it-yourself materials. In: Proceedings of 10th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2016. Pp. 233-241.

  10. Rognoli, V., Bianchini, M., Maffei, S., & Karana, E. (2015). DIY Materials. Special Issue on Emerging Materials Experience. Materials and Design, vol. 86, pp. 692–702; DOI 10.1016/j.matdes.2015.07.020.

  11. Rognoli V., (2015). Dynamism and imperfection as emerging materials experiences. A case study. In: Proceedings of DesForm 2015 – Aesthetics of Interaction: Dynamic, Multisensory, Wise. 9th International Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement, Politecnico di Milano, IT; 10/2015.

  12. Rognoli V., Karana, E. (2014). Towards a New Materials Aesthetic Based on Imperfection and Graceful Ageing. In: E. Karana, O. Pedgley, O., & V. Rognoli (Eds.) Materials Experience: Fundamentals of Materials and Design (pp. 145-154). Butterworth-Heinemann: Elsevier, UK.

  13. Rognoli V., (2010). A broad survey on expressive-sensorial characterization of materials for design education. Metu, Journal of the Faculty of Architecture, vol. 27; p. 287-300. DOI 10.4305/METU.JFA.2010.2.16

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