A bursary to study Furniture Design at Milan Polytechnic University named after Manlio Armellini


ph. Andrea Mariani, courtesy Salone del Mobile.Milano

The Salone del Mobile.Milano is promoting the study of furniture design at POLI.design, with a bursary named after the celebrated MD of Cosmit who turned the Salone into the international event it is today

As of the academic year 2022/2023, Italian and international students enrolled in the Masters in Furniture Design at Milan Polytechnic University will have a chance to benefit from a study bursary named after Manlio Armellini, Secretary General of Cosmit from 1965 and later its Managing Director.
The initiative, strongly backed by the President of the Salone del Mobile.Milano Maria Porro, is also supported by Armida Armellini, who always stood by her husband’s side as he forged ahead with the challenge of taking Made in Italy furniture, a unique Italian industrial phenomenon and a market leader at global level, onto the world stage, bringing the city of Milan to the centre of global sectoral attention. It was Armellini who triggered the process for creating a complex trade fair system that was to become a fundamental point of reference for companies, for styles, for research, for technique and for living trends, offsetting the trade side of the fair with an extraordinary range of cultural events – from monographs on the masters of design to the large, themed exhibitions, artistic events and theatrical productions.

The University Masters in Furniture Design, run by POLI.design at Milan Polytechnic University, has its cultural roots in the relationship between Italian business and design, while also aiming to develop fresh knowledge that will support the innovation required to respond to the challenges posed by technological, social, climate and market challenges. The Masters course is led by Professor Alessandro Deserti, from the Design Department at Milan Polytechnic University and by Francesco Zurlo, President of POLI.design and Dean of Milan Polytechnic University Design School, and is now in its fifth edition. It has trained around 100 students so far, from 28 different countries around the world.


Manlio Armellini

Every year, 50% of the enrolment fee for an Italian and a foreign student will be covered in the form of a study bursary awarded by a committee formed by the Masters directors, Armida Armellini and Maria Porro, who remembers Armellini as “a volcanic and visionary man, refined and generous. After his brainwave in 1965 of rounding off the trade offering by gathering together all the leading furnishing sector companies, the Salone really took off, becoming the event we all know and appreciate today, a jewel in the crown of Milan and of an entire nation.”


Read also 60 years of the Salone del Mobile for those who were not there


The years to come will be unique in terms of the intensification of creativity and design, and training well-prepared designers conscious of the role of design in the socioeconomic context will be crucial. Design is actually much more than just a discipline geared to producing beautiful and well made things, which are of course important given that we are the second largest manufacturing country in Europe, but it is far more than that because its approach makes it a strategic asset for the innovation and competitivity of public and private institutions as well as SMEs and multinationals – Manlio Armellini was well aware of this, and thanks to his endeavours he managed to demonstrate it not just to our own country, but to the entire world”, said the Masters directors.

Armida Armellini’s words were also addressed to the young people: “I am delighted that, thanks to the heartfelt participation of Milan Polytechnic University, along with the Salone del Mobile we have managed to make this study bursary, recognising the abilities and enthusiasm of two brilliant young people, become a reality. My husband was the farsighted creator and promoter of countless major initiatives both for the companies and for talented youngsters, in whom he always placed great hope and confidence; so I am particularly happy to know that what he has achieved for the Salone will continue to be recognised even by the new generations.”

17 March 2022