ReADs is a level 1 Postgraduate Specialisation Programme for new graduates and professionals who want to acquire the fundamental skills to conceive and design retail spaces, architectures and experiences for commercial and social places.

Held at the University of Architecture in Venice –IUAV– ReADs is a high-level postgrad specialisation programme that aims to train Retail Design professionals through a “learning by doing” teaching consisting of frontal lessons integrated by workshops, internships, visits to the main international companies leaders of innovation and a filed trip to Sweden, home-country of Retail.

Lessons are held by some of the best professionals in Retail, Design and Architecture worldwide.

The Master represents an opportunity to explore our attitudes towards the world around us with the aim of stimulating projects, programs and debates on innovation, helping us to define common goals and challenges, making data and information accessible to dream and plan a better quality of our civil life.

With ReADs you can then live a year in Venice and acquire excellent post-graduate education to become a professional able to work on and design spaces for Retail Architecture and Design.

Type of education: Level 1 Postgraduate
Specialisation Programme.

Qualification issued: Level 1 postgraduate course diploma.

Scientific Head: Arch. Paolo Lucchetta.

Course length: year long.
Starting: January 2020.
Ending: January 2021.

Six months are dedicated to lessons, exercises, educational visits and workshops and six months are for the internship in one of the Programme’s partner companies.

Attendance (classes and educational visits – first 6 months): three weeks per month, from Monday to Wednesday, N.8 hours a day.

Language: Italian and English.
It is sufficient to know only the English language, both written and spoken. The knowledge of the Italian language is a plus.

Available seats: 20.

Headquarters: Iuav University of Architecture in Venice, Palazzo Badoer.
See the map

Programme’s web-page on the Iuav University website

Places, things, people

In recent years, the disciplinary territory between Architecture and Design – that of Interior Architecture – has taken on an increasingly important role in the regeneration of individual and collective built environments. Internal space is a “constructed matter” and relating with it no longer means relating with a void, but rather becoming part of a complex body.

Interior Architecture is able to activate the public and private spaces of the contemporary city: it is the tool that gives soul and meaning to both physical and mental spaces, within which quality of life is defined.

Delineating the assessment of quality criteria, such as climate, quality of Architecture, public transportation, tolerance, security, environmental issues, landscape conservation, international connectivity, urban Design, the conditions of commercial development, access to goods and services, culture and instruction are fundamental.[1]

“The growing magnitude of road, railroad and air networks overturns conceptions of city planning and the city, whose importance is measured on the speed with which it ensures access to different means of circulation and their interconnections. Likewise, the growing role of different means of communication, inclusive of television and the Internet, thrusts public life, extended across the globe, into the heart of domestic space.

These changes can be conceived as signs of a new world in gestation; a world, for the first time in the history of mankind, that simultaneously and contemporaneously spans the planet.”[2]

“Hence, we realize that new challenges are being posed to Urbanists and Architects. Increasingly, the most frequented public spaces, where social life is learned in an often-unruly manner, are increasingly spaces of consumerism, from hypermarkets to all kinds of transport stations.

It is necessary that attention to social ties and to aesthetics converge in these spaces, that the learning of the social and the beautiful occur simultaneously. This requires a minimum of public education for which all political regimes across all eras have striven through the raising of temples, cathedrals and castles. In our slow march towards that which one day will be a global society, we should not lose sight of the aesthetics of department stores and airports, of stadiums and highways, of viaducts and skyscrapers destined for offices: the civic life of tomorrow largely depends on these.”[2]

“Shopping is without a doubt the last remaining form of public activity. Through a series of increasingly predatory forms, it has infiltrated, colonized and even replaced almost every aspect of urban life. City centres, suburbs, streets and now airports, stations, museums, hospitals, schools, the Internet and military spaces are shaped by the mechanisms and spaces of Shopping.

The voracity with which it pursues public space has, in fact, made it one of the main, if not only, modalities through which we experience the city. This Master explores the spaces, people, techniques, ideologies and inventions by which Shopping has so dramatically redefined the city.

The beginning of the twenty-first century will perhaps be remembered as the moment when the city could no longer be conceived without Shopping.”[3]

“In Italy, there is an infinitely large world parallel to that of institutional Design, an invisible non-orthodox Design, whose creator-producers and products are of considerable social and anthropological importance and perhaps more deeply connected with people than their counterparts in the realm of traditional Design. Useful and useless products.

Spanning the entire world of goods and all the souls of common things, from the humble to the luxurious, this widespread set of objects is intimately connected with people’s lives – real, normal and affective –, conjoining triviality, expression and piety, operating on the range of all of life’s needs, desires and hypotheses, and on the very changing of life. It is an idea of change that comes from the masses, through the need for magic.

The theoretical, technical and craft scenarios in which this network operates present models of transformation of methods and product innovations that are highly sensitive to radical ways of rethinking objects and their market. We are in the midst of momentous changes brought on by the various brutalities and crises, including that of values, which finds every person reexamining his or her own place in society and reelaborating their fetishes.

It is hypothesized that precisely from this nebulous productivity, operating from tradition to innovation, a more expanded and varied proposal can emerge, one that concerns image, ethics and aware use of behaviours.

This hypothesis shifts the vantage point, provoking imbalances, yet it is fertile in emotion and spectacularity. Objects that breathe and narrate our memories, in a social and objectual situation. They breathe for their designer and their manufacturer. Not only do they speak to their users, they correspond with them. We ourselves are our things. We are things among things. And so, which things are we?”[4]

Paolo Lucchetta

1  Tyler Brûlé, The Monocle Guide to Better Living, Die Gestalten Verlag, 2013.
2  Marc Augé, Estia ed Ermes, Domus 900.
3  Rem Koolhaas in Francesco Dal Co, Rem Koolhaas, Elisabetta Molteni, Il Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Venezia, OMA. Il restauro e il riuso di un monumento veneziano, Mondadori Electa, 2016.
4  Alessandro Mendini, Quali cose siamo, Triennale, Milano.


The Programme is based on a series of foundation courses that are aimed at developing the main skills of Architecture, Urban Studies, Design, Retail and Marketing.

With an international outlook and courses in Italian and English, ReADs combines an advanced disciplinary approach to thinking with concrete experiences driven by the emerging challenges of real professional practices.

It combines traditional teaching methods with innovative forms of practice and a multidisciplinary approach, which integrates traditional visual disciplines with new digital technologies through individual study and group projects.

The aim is to contrast the rigidity of academic tradition by introducing visions and languages closer to globally recognized creative practices and professions. Hence, the Programme foresees a number of lectures by external and internationally acclaimed prestigious professionals.

ReADs has been conceived to encourage talented and enthusiastic students to face related and decisive issues, applying a wide-ranging empirical method that knowingly integrates class lessons with the practical experience of workshops and laboratories.

Knowledge of techniques is only one end of this stimulating and engrossing journey. This Programme searches to provide students with the possibility to better understand the growing complexity of these specific and highly professional settings.

Professional perspectives

Among the main aspects of innovation in Architecture and Contemporary Design, the issue of emerging global interest for social and commercial spaces and therefore for the quality of life of people in our cities is one of the most fascinating challenges for future generations of architects and designers, in terms relating to design and creative skills and technical and managerial professional attitudes.

The integration of scientific cultures related to Urban Studies and the quality of Industrial Design with knowledge related to processes and research on innovation (the companies that support the Programme are leaders in the realization of interior architecture, lighting, materials, surfaces, technologies) makes particularly interesting for all retail and real estate operators (service companies, retail companies, real estate companies, institutions for the management of building properties) the profile of future graduates of this Programme, who will be able to face the many and changing needs emerging from international markets on the innovation of social and commercial spaces.

A different kind of Postgraduate
Specialisation Programme

In the ReADs Programme the teaching unites traditional methods with ground-breaking practices: traditional technology is always deepened alongside the various forms of digital and social new media.
The Programme employs a multidisciplinary approach that combines traditional visual disciplines with new digital technology, individual studies with group projects. Collaborations, creative workshops and real projects are developed with Italian and international companies and institutions, aimed at offering students the chance to work practically, and develop critical thinking, problem solving skills, and artistic and planning expertise.

After acquiring the primary skill set through participation in workshops, specific expertise is built up through real projects that deal with the challenges, difficulties and potentialities found 
in the real world.

A “learning by doing” methodology

The Programme is characterized by intensive face-to-face classes in which students treat themes of elevated conceptual complexity, developed through a multidisciplinary approach, under the guidance of our teaching staff.

The Programme foresees courses dedicated to the development of specific methodological and technical approaches to the Design of interior spaces and settings: theoretical courses are aimed at exploring the historical and contemporary panorama of Italian Design, as well as research in the field of the culture of innovation.

The importance of social and relational skills typical of the world of Retail, often not elaborated in traditional schools, is highlighted. In order to learn to communicate and plan for the community, one must start with one’s own social skills and micro-web of relations.
Such a multidisciplinary Programme faces the general principles of Retail and the characteristics of a world in constant transformation. Planning is also understood as a planning of practices and languages; planning the context becomes the heart of the work of the new generation of Architects / Designers, in order to generate relations, networks, Communities. The set of social and commercial skills of planning cultures is at the pedagogical core of this Programme aimed at developing the students’ potentials.

The teaching methodology promotes the Online and Offline interaction between students and teachers, simulating the interactions and communications of the professional world.
Autonomous Online learning further develops personal skills and aptitudes. This continuous exchange occurs within the Programme, understood as a Community, where students individually carry out activities with the support of the teaching staff.

The workshops are opportunities of on-site and direct learning aimed at cultivating practical skills and preparing for the professional world: the proposed teaching system is based on educational projects developed with sector leaders.

The Programme ends with a weeklong Camp, a group exhibition (itinerant and interactive), a practical workshop aimed at challenging and fostering personal potential.

See the Educational program.

Why Venice

Within this context, ReADs offers an intense and innovative post-degree educational experience through an annual full-time programme at the prestigious IUAV University of Architecture, Venice (est. 1926).

The IUAV University has designated Palazzo Badoer as the seat of the Master, considerably enriching the student experience.

Venice is undeniably an international capital of Culture, Art and Architecture, hosting art exhibitions, timeless sites of cultural interest and important events such as the Biennale in its various disciplines and variations.

The widely acclaimed IUAV is part of an international network of prestigious universities, serving as a platform for the launch of interesting careers.

ReADs forsees courses and lessons held by some of the best professionals at international level, among the most successful figures in the sectors of Retail, Architecture and Design.

To this are added numerous testimonies of Artists, Architects, professionals and companies on specific Retail issues.

Among the professionals, the contributions of Design Thinkers, Artists, Architects, Photographers and Graphic Designers are particularly important in the Programme.

Look who they are →

The photographs on this page are courtesy of Marco Zanta © and Giacomo Zonta ©.

Teaching staff
Companies and Internship
Field trip