LOCATIONs & facilities

Pop-up School participants in the studio garden in Bergamo, Italy

Our physical studios in Italy and Costa Rica exemplify our commitment to offering immersive and globally connected learning opportunities.  Rich in biodiversity, these unique settings allow people to develop their skills as well as broaden their perspectives by engaging with different cultures, landscapes, and contexts. 

We work with global companies and foster collaborations with local organisations and communities, allowing exploration at the intersection of design and social impact.

Our dynamic learning environment promotes creative thought leadership where technology and experience come together. Prototyping is intrinsic to all of the work that we do. This means that wherever we go, we bring excellent tools, machines and materials to create and build amazing things. 

Astino valley in Bergamo, Italy where the Italian CIID campus is located.
The city of Bergamo and the mountains beyond
Inside the building of the not quite finished Bergamo, Italy campus.
Preserving architectural details of the building
A rendering of the CIID building
A rendering of the new studio space
Photo of the valley of Astino in Bergamo, Italy.
The beautiful Astino complex in Bergamo, Italy, surrounded by the 'Biodiversity Valley'
We are excited to introduce our new studio in Bergamo.

We have already hosted successful Pop-up School classes here and we are very much looking forward to embedding the Interaction Design Programme in this location.  

Italy holds great influence on and passion for design. CIID was born out of the Interaction Design Institute, Ivrea, so while this is a new location, we feel we are returning to our Italian roots.

Why Astino? 
The historical complex of Astino has been chosen as our Italian location in line with our purpose to approach design from a life-centred perspective. The name Astino indicates both the valley and the historical buildings. Situated in an agricultural oasis, defined as Biodiversity Valley,  the former monastery is currently under renovation.

We are collaborating with Fondazione Mia (Congregazione della Misericordia Maggioreto) to create an open studio space for the Interaction Design Programme and our Pop-Up Schools, along with a digital fabrication lab and prototyping workshop. This will become a destination for those working at the forefront of design, technology, sustainability and regeneration. 

The monastery has been open to the public since 2015 and has hosted numerous events, exhibitions and initiatives with many related to art, music and of course food, wine and nutrition. The reputation of Italian food is world-renowned and Bergamo is no exception.

Located just 7km from Bergamo airport, the Astino Valley immediately conveys a sense of peace. 

Where is Bergamo?
Located 45 km northeast of Milan, Bergamo is the fourth-largest city in Lombardy and is a well known UNESCO World Heritage site. 

It has two parts: Citta Àlta (Upper City) and Città Bassa (Lower City) which are connected by a funicular. This makes it an exciting, contrasting place to experience. 

Citta Altà is a medieval city, surrounded by 16th century Venetian walls, with cobbled stone streets that play host to small boutiques, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Città Bassa is the modern part of the city and is home to larger shops and the business district.

A student working in the woodshop in Costa Rica at the CIID studio.
Creating in the woodshop
Photo of the inside of the CIID studio in Costa Rica where lectures are taught.
Classes are taught in a flexible, open space
Student working in the fabrication lab.
Working with electronics in the lab
Finding inspiration in the garden
Photo of CIID studio in COsta Rica in the evening.
The studio in Barrio Escalante, San Jose, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica is home to a staggering six percent of the world’s biodiversity. Our studio is located in the capital, San José but if you come to study here, you can also spend time immersed in nature, exploring this extraordinarily beautiful country.

Our aim is to learn from and build upon progressive innovation, including the fact that the region currently generates more than 99 percent of its electricity using five different renewable sources: hydropower (78%), wind (10%), geothermal energy (10%), biomass, and solar (1%).

Where in San José?
Strategically located in a beautifully renovated villa in Barrio Escalante, San José, our studio includes a digital fabrication lab and a wood workshop which was sponsored by the Crusa Foundation. Designed by experts in educational spaces at Gensler, the flexibility of the studio supports our design and prototyping processes, and provides a functional backdrop for our Interaction Design Programme and Pop-up Schools.

The interior has been kept intentionally simple to shine a spotlight on the projects and most importantly, on the people who are at the heart of what we do. We also have a large garden, and a fern-adorned courtyard, complemented by an outside kitchen which doubles as a lab for gastronomic experimentation and some bio-projects.

Why Costa Rica?
Our life-centred approach to design means that we are inspired by nature and we take full advantage of the range of biodiversity that Costa Rica has to offer. Well-known for its lush rainforests, pristine beaches and diverse ecosystems, you have the opportunity take time to draw inspiration from nature.