In 1966 the 24-year-old Francesco Morelli had a vision:

To shape a new kind of school for the creative professions of design, fashion, visual arts and communication. That vision became the Istituto Europeo di Design. 

Our story began in Milan and continued in the 1970s and 1980s with the opening of new campuses in Italy: in 1973 in Rome, in 1984 in Cagliari and in 1989 in Turin.

The 1990s saw the beginning of development in Spain, with the opening of the campuses in Madrid in 1994, followed by Barcelona in 2002. 

The Group also expanded overseas, with the opening of its first campus in Brazil, in São Paulo in 2005, and again in Italy with the opening of campuses in Venice in 2007, Florence in 2009 and the acquisition of the Aldo Galli Academy of Fine Arts in Como, also in 2009.

In 2014, we strengthened the Group's presence in Brazil with the redevelopment of the Cassino da Urca and the establishment of the Rio de Janeiro campus; in 2020, in Spain, we acquired the Centro Superior de Diseño Kunsthal in Bilbao.

When the founder passed away in 2017, the Francesco Morelli Foundation (FFM) became his universal heir and owner of the IED Group. The mission of the FFM is the development of culture and education in design, the arts and innovation for young people and global society.

Our history



1966 - Francesco Morelli founds the Istituto Europeo di Design in Piazza Santa Maria del Suffragio in Milan  




1973 - IED Roma opens in Via dei Fori Imperiali, at the Basilica dei Santi Cosma e Damiano

1976 - The CRSN, Research Centre for Natural Structures, is established. It will later be renamed Istituto Europeo di Design Research Centre: CRIED



1982 - The first Exchange Study Programme in Italy is activated, partnering with universities throughout the world
1983 - IED opens the Istituto Superiore di Comunicazione in Milan and Rome
1983 - The Roma campus opens its fashion department in Piazza Colonna, which will later give rise to the opening of the Fashion School itself
1984 - IED Cagliari opens
1986 - A fashion department is also opened in the Milan campus, which in the meantime has moved to Via Sciesa 
1986/1988 - IED Milano hosts the official visit of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Paola of Liège and King Albert of Belgium

1989 – IED Torino opens in via Bligny




1990 - Founding of CUMULUS, International Association of Universities and Colleges of Arts, Design and Media, of which IED, the only Italian institution, is one of the founders

1990 - IED Milano launches the first Computer Graphics course

1991 - The IED Research Centre develops the “Proyecto-Diseño per Castilla-La Mancha” training project in Spain, which will start the Group's expansion in Spain

1994 - Inauguration of the IED Madrid campus in Calle Larra

1994 - IED Torino launches the first Transportation Design course 

1996 - The Rome campus moves to Via Alcamo




2000 - IED Milano hosts the official visit of Queen Elizabeth II of England 

2000 - In Rome the Testaccio campus opened in Via Branca, hosting the fashion and communication courses
2002 - IED Barcelona opens

2002 - IED Fashion is established in Milan, the IED Fashion school in Via Pompeo Leoni

2002 - The IED Research Centre collaboration with SEBRAE (Association of Brazilian Micro and Small Businesses) and SENAI (Confederation of Brazilian Industry) begins, which will lead to the opening of the São Paulo campus

2005 - The São Paulo campus is inaugurated in Brazil

2006 - IED Madrid inaugurates the prestigious Palacio de Altamira campus at Calle Flor Alta 

2006 - IED Milano launches the first Sound Design course in Italy

2007 - IED opens a Venice campus on La Certosa island

2009 - IED São Paulo is officially recognised by the Ministério da Educação 

2009 - The Florence campus is inaugurated

2009 - The Group acquires the Aldo Galli Academy of Fine Arts in Como




2010 - IED Milan and Rome courses are recognised by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research. In the following years, this recognition will also be obtained by the campuses in Turin (2012), Cagliari (2013) and Florence (2016)

2010 - The first meeting of Design for Social Business is hosted which is attended by, among others, Muhammad Yunus, Remo Bodei, Derrick de Kerkhove, Richard Buchanan, Francisco Jarauta 

2011 - IED Barcelona obtains the recognition of the Departament d'Ensenyament della Generalitat del Catalunya

2012 - IED Madrid obtains the recognition of the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte

2014 - Inauguration of the IED campus in Rio de Janeiro at Cassino da Urca

2017 - Upon Francesco Morelli's passing, IED becomes the property of the Francesco Morelli Foundation, a non-profit, private organisation




2020 - Through integration with the Centro Superior de Diseño Kunsthal, IED opens Kunsthal - IED Bilbao

2022 - IED SpA becomes a Benefit Corporation