ReADs - Master in Retail Architecture and Design for Social and Commercial Purposes


Program Description

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.


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.

Companies and Internship

The weekly visits to the Programme’s partner companies –leader in the creation of interior architectures, lighting, materials, surfaces, technologies– will allow students to learn what are the multiple tools available to a Retail designer.

The educational program is therefore based on a continuous integration between theoretical and practical skills, to train complete professionals able to manage the multiple factors of Retail with confidence and awareness.

The companies will host students at their offices, providing the following opportunities:

in-depth visits to production sites and dedicated seminars with the figures dealing with the design and those aspects that are of particular interest to a Retail designer; illustration of topics related to internship program planning; interviews and training activities, development of thesis projects; project briefing; presentation of developed projects and final thesis papers.

The internship in the partner companies of the Programme lasts 6 months and is the fundamental opportunity to have an experience “in the field” of what is the real professional practice, putting into practice the knowledge acquired during the first six months of lectures, exercises and visits.

For those who do not have the possibility, for reasons of time or professional commitments, to dedicate six months to the internship, there is the possibility of carrying out a“project work”.

€ 12.000,00


Together with its partner companies, ReADs offers to deserving students a series of scholarships to partially cover the tuition fee, assigned on the basis of merit requirements.

The scholarships, available in a certain number every year (still to be defined for the next edition), are for partial coverage (50% – 6.000,00 €) of the costs of the Master.

They will be awarded by merit, forming a ranking order and, in case of parity of points, the younger candidate in the ranking will precede.

To apply for a scholarship or to receive more information, please write to (Iuav University Postgrad Programmes Office). They will give you all the information you need to know about it.

Field trip

During the Programme, the students will take a 5-day field trip to Sweden to visit the ITAB company – one of the major European Retail concept suppliers – to learn about the latest technological innovations for Retail, the H&M headquarters in Stockholm, have an overview of the concepts (H&M, H&M Home, COS, & other Stories, ARKET, A-FOUND) of the Swedish Retail giant, and closely study the main achievements of leading international Retail brands in one of the most avant-garde places in this field.


The steps to follow and requirements to apply for the admission procedure to the Programme are delineated in this document: Guidelines for international students (admission and enrollment procedure) 2019-20.

Read it carefully. It is the standard procedure required by the IUAV University of Venice.

In the document you can also find all the indications on how to proceed, later, with the enrollment to the Master, the payment of fees, etc.

Here you can find the Handbook on how making the online registration and presenting the online admission request.

For any request of information, please see this page on the Iuav University website.

To be admitted to the ReADs Postgraduate Spacialisation Programme it is necessary to have one of the following qualifications:

  • Italian Bachelor’s Degree –“laurea triennale”– preferably in Architecture, Design;
  • Bachelor’s Degree (preferably in Architecture, Design) obtained out of Italy (three years University education), that the administrative office of the Iuav University will consider equivalent to Italian qualification for being admitted to the Programme;
  • knowledge of English language, both written and spoken (it is sufficient to present a self-written document in which you declare to know both written and spoken English; nothing else is needed).

Documents to submit for admission:

those indicated in the Guidelines for international students (admission and enrollment procedure) 2019-20 and, in addition:

  • detailed curriculum vitae in European format (PDF file);
  • individual portfolio (PDF file max 5 MB);
  • motivation letter (PDF file);
  • certified knowledge of the English language, both written and spoken (it is sufficient to present a self-written document in which you declare to know both written and spoken English; nothing else is needed).

The selection of the participants will take place like indicated in the Guidelines for international students (admission and enrollment procedure) 2019-20 and through an individual interview with the Scientific Head of the Programme to clarify and deepen motivations and attitudes (also via Skype).

Available seats: 20

Communication of the rankings: starting from November 25th, 2019.


  • Starting / ending: January 2020 – January 2021;
  • admission application deadline: 08 November 2019 – 12:00 pm;
  • publication of the ranking list: 25 November 2019;
  • registration deadline: 03 December 2019 – 12:00 pm;
  • start of classes: 13 January 2020 (approximately).
Last updated Jul 2019

About the School

Università Iuav di Venezia offers advanced courses for graduates and professionals. The various postgraduate programmes are divided in three branches that vary according to the degree you achieve: Le ... Read More

Università Iuav di Venezia offers advanced courses for graduates and professionals. The various postgraduate programmes are divided in three branches that vary according to the degree you achieve: Level I Master Programme Level II Master Programme Advanced Specialisation Courses The Masters (Postgraduate Specialisation Programmes) aim at developing knowledge and skills in innovative and strategic sectors of the manufacturing and industrial world, and are characterised by an interdisciplinary and applicative approach. They are open to graduates from various disciplines (Art, Architecture, Urban Planning, Sociology, Engineering, Economics, Philosophy, Literature, etc.) that are interested in acquiring professional training in entrepreneurship, corporate functions, and certain administrative and financial sectors. Read less