Dezeen Magazine

Visualisation of building with figures

Florence Institute of Design International spotlights ten design projects

Dezeen School Shows: a multifaith centre that promotes interfaith harmony and a culinary school dedicated to Italian cuisine feature in Dezeen's latest school show by students at Florence Institute of Design International.

Also included is a fashion school that has an emphasis on sustainability and a women's shelter based in Florence.

Florence Institute of Design International

Institution: Florence Institute of Design International
Courses: Interior Design – Design Research Project and Building Systems
Alejandro Amador, Ivan Bozic and Giovanni Pierantoni

School statement:

"FIDI is an international design school located in the centre of Florence, Italy.

"The Design Research Project and Building Systems courses are held during the final year of the three-year Interior Design programme.

"Each design proposal is approximately 3,000 square meters and is developed individually by each student in relation to societal and cultural developments, with an emphasis on sustainable solutions.

"Renderings, plans and sections are accompanied by extensive studies of building system design, lighting acoustics and casework details.

"The three-year programme offers intensive curriculum teaching on various aspects of interior design to acquire advanced skills and knowledge and develop professional practitioners within the international design community.

"The course results in a validated bachelor degree, BA (Hons) Design, issued in collaboration with the University of Chester."

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Melior Research Centre by Arshia Bansal

"The research centre is located in Calenzano surrounded by the Tuscan Hills, where professionals gather to generate sustainable solutions.

"Considering sustainability is a broad term, Bansal focused on a space that does research on neutralising carbon.

"Her themes for the design of the space were assimilation, growth and flexibility, which she translated through the natural elements of air, land and water.

"By zoning her building into the three themes Bansal illustrated the concept with a contemporary and abstract approach, creating a space that encourages innovation and a focus on the future."

Student: Arshia Bansal
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: arshiabansal9[at]

Visualisation of building interior and exploded site diagram

O Sphere Library and Community Centre by Lira Gaynullina

"With the development of technology and inevitable changes that follow, libraries no longer play a crucial role in the development of younger generations.

"Lira's Design Research Project is dedicated to innovating the concept of a library and to introduce a new interior space through which it becomes a focal point for the community.

"Her design concept was based on three words: freedom, generation and respect. She applied rhythm to her design by creating organic zones around the perimeter of space through a combination of geometric patterns.

"Easy to navigate and characterized by terrazzo tiles made specifically for the site, the library would contain several different spaces – a reception area, lounge, café, kids' zone and a conference room."

Student: Lira Gaynullina
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: liragainullina[at]

Visualisation of building interior and exploded site diagram

Ioda Institute of Design and Art by Chiara Somers

"Ioda is an educational institution for studying design. Somers used modern solutions and an innovative approach to design a space that encourages community wellbeing and facilitates an educational experience rooted in design.

"Throughout the different zones, Somers portrayed the concept of interconnection through meanings of shapes.

"The cohesive theme of round forms seen in both details and construction offers light and freedom allowing creativity, calmness and curiosity to both the students and faculty."

Student: Chiara Somers
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: chiara_novak[at]

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Casa Juno Women's Shelter by Nadine Bannayan

"Casa Juno is a shelter for women and children located 30 minutes from the historic center of Florence, which makes it accessible but also secluded.

"For her Design Research Project, Bannayan wanted to tackle the theme of sexism, which is deeply rooted in history as well as today's culture.

"Metamorphosis, camaraderie, maternity and female anatomy are the themes that shaped her project and design decisions.

"The space is designed in the hope that the users can feel comfortable as well as grow and learn within the space, allowing them to reintegrate back into society independently."

Student: Nadine Bannayan
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: nadinebannayan[at]

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Salam Refuge Centre by Hana Adly Guirguis

"The focus of this project is not to only provide shelter in the common sense of the word, but also to design a space within the Italian community for refugees, to make them feel welcomed but more importantly to feel safe and at home.

"She designed a scheme which not only includes dormitories to sleep in but a space which motivates people even when in difficult situations to learn, to teach and to give back to the community.

"She focused on accommodating refuges from the middle east as it is one of the regions holding most conflict over the last decade."

Student: Hana Adly Guirguis
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: hana_adly[at]

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Abrahamic House Cultural Centre by Sabrina Khaled

"For her Design Research Project Khaled designed the Abrahamic House – a space of diversity, discussion and growth that promotes interfaith harmony across Italy and the globe.

"Observing how the current world dynamic and situation is constantly deteriorating, Sabrina noticed the need to go back to our origins and spread a culture of tolerance, acceptance and coexistence.

"She illustrates her concept through the themes of identity, exploration, interaction and the divine, through a numerological and symbolic design operative.

"Within the walls of Sant'Orsola in Florence she creates a history tunnel, library, lecture hall, workshop spaces and two special halls – Wander Hall and Divinity Hall – to represent a new beginning and a divine completeness."

Student: Sabrina Khaled
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: sabrinakhaled98[at]

Visualisation of building interior with figures

Muse Youth Centre & Student Housing by Dunja Kovacev

"With the expanding number of international students coming from abroad to study in Italy, Kovacev designed a youth center that aims to inspire students and the creative community in Florence.

"A segregation between international students and locals is prominent in cities like Florence, therefore she wanted to create a space which can help connect the two.

"Her goal was to design a center which closely reflects its surroundings and location to help students merge with the culture to then be able to thrive in their environment.

"Her approach to the design was creating a clear contrast between the contemporary additions and the existing structures in order to convey the theme of passage.

"Furthermore, she designed spaces which make it accessible for students to exhibit their work in order to get exposure and connections during their studies."

Student:Dunja Kovacev
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: dunja.kovacev[at]

Visualisation of building interior with figures

Viale Culinary School of Florence by Aleksandra Davidovic

"Viale is a culinary school in the center of Florence, dedicated to both students and Italian cuisine.

"For her Design Research Project, Davidovic aimed to create a space which encourages students to practice a healthier lifestyle through cooking and expanding their knowledge of food and the culture behind it.

"She divided the building to serve a number of programs for cooking enthusiasts who either want to improve, try something new or simply have a space to enjoy their passion with like-minded people.

"Furthermore, a food market, restaurant and café open up the center to the public."

Student: Aleksandra Davidovic
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: adavidovic2207[at]

Visualisation of building interior with figures

Antensi Sustainable Fashion School by Cristina Marhuenda

"For her final Design Research Project, Marhuenda designed the Antensi Sustainable Fashion School of Milan with the aim of uniting the fashion community over environmental improvement.

"Her idea emerged from the importance of giving awareness to younger generations of designers that can still make a change in the fashion industry, which has been a source of pollution since the 17th Century.

"She analyzed and designed the spaces of Palazzo del Toro in the centre of Milan with a focus on straight lines, organic forms and textures.

"The interior is airy and open with storage and exhibition spaces combined with areas dedicated to individual and group study.

"Marhuenda's proposition brings comfort and inspiration for a productive and sustainable everyday university experience."

Student: Cristina Marhuenda
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: crismarhuenda13[at]

Visualisation of building interior with figures

Dopo Holistic Wellness Center by Shay Levi

"Dopo Holistic Wellness is a proposed new cultural, community and well-being centre for mental and physical recovery.

"Observing the surge of post-pandemic psychological challenges, Levi was inspired by the symbol of the seed of life and the healing practices cultivated at old monastic herb gardens to guide her through the re-design of Sant'Orsola site in Florence.

"She transformed in into a space of connectedness, growth and release, regularly returning to the themes of gravity, nature and cyclicality throughout the adaptation of the space.

"Notably, Dopo features a ceramic workshop, as well as an herb and a hydroponic garden."

Student: Shay Levi
Tutors: Alejandro Amador and Giovanni Pierantoni
Email: shaylevi134[at]

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Florence Institute of Design International. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.