Alessia Romani is a PhD candidate in Design at the Department of Design (Politecnico di Milano), and she currently works as Research Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering “Giulio Natta” of the same university. Her main research interests focus on the interdisciplinary connection between Design, Materials and Additive Manufacturing. She aims at bridging design and engineering through the lens of materials and digital technologies. Also, she is interested in new design strategies and approaches to additive manufacturing, new materials and finishing for design and additive manufacturing, parametric and computational design, design for sustainability and circular economy.
She is actively involved in two main research projects: “FiberEUse – Large scale demonstration of new circular economy value-chains based on the reuse of end-of-life fiber reinforced composites” (H2020 EU Funded project – Grant Agreement N. 730323-1) and “+Ability” (Codesign of 3D Printed Customized Assistive Technology). She previously took part in “NNCF – Noi Non Ci Fermiamo” project funded by Roche S.p.A. (Codesign of Assistive Technology for Rheumatic Diseases).
Alessia is currently part of +LAB, 3D printing lab of Politecnico di Milano, and she has joined the Materials Experience Lab after the beginning of her PhD path. Her PhD research aims at investigating the interdisciplinary link between design, materials and additive manufacturing in circular economy contexts, fostering the exploitation of new circular materials and strategies in the design practice. Previously, she received her BSc in Product Design in 2015 from Politecnico di Milano, and she obtained her MSc in Design & Engineering in 2018 (full marks) from the same university with a thesis focused on the codesign of 3D printed customized assistive technology developed at +LAB. During her studies, she also worked as a designer in the household appliances and textile fields.
Through her research experience, she had the opportunity to merge design research and materials engineering, gaining expertise at the intersection of the two disciplines. She also collaborated as teaching assistant and co-supervised MSc thesis of the two disciplinary fields (MSc in Design & Engineering, BSc and MSc in Materials and Nanotechnology Engineering). Moreover, she has authored publications in peer-reviewed journals, participated at international conferences and organized workshops focused on 3D printing, materials and design.
DESIGN, MATERIALS AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING IN CIRCULAR ECONOMY CONTEXTS
Considering the exploitation of fossil derivatives for human activities, the importance of sustainability is going to constantly increase in the next years. New circular economy models should be investigated to reduce the human impact on earth. As a result, design, materials and digital technologies play a crucial role in this change, and a wider range of circular materials and design strategies should be implemented. Nevertheless, their combined integration in the design practice is still challenging, and designers are not always aware of these possibilities. At the same time, the potential applications of these materials and their experiential aspects are scarcely considered in the conventional development process.
The aim of this research is to investigate the interdisciplinary link between design, materials and additive manufacturing in circular economy contexts. At a later stage, the goal is to foster the integration of new circular materials and design strategies based on additive manufacturing in the design practice. Starting from specific case studies, the research will be focused on the investigation of new circular materials and design strategies for additive manufacturing through a design engineering experimental approach. Afterwards, new experiential tools will be developed to exploit the potential of emerging materials and strategies for new design applications in circular economy models.