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Daria Cantù

Senior service designer

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Renzo Giusti

Daria Cantù

Senior service designer

The main source of inspiration for design projects comes from everyday life and people. Their stories and desires are the starting point to develop better services answering real needs.

Daria Cantù is a senior service designer, with over 8 years of research and teaching experience, travelling in Europe, the USA and Africa. Her PhD from the Politecnico di Milano focused on participatory and co-design methods to design services with local communities (Community Centered Design).


Her recent work includes EU projects on smart energy saving and digital services for elderly people (Smart Campus and Life 2.0), where she ran pilot activities involving users in co-design sessions and facilitated stakeholder workshops. She also collaborated on EU (Simpact) and non-EU projects on social innovation in relation to service design practice. Previously she worked on the LaborLab project at Domus Academy, aiming to set quality standards for regional employment services in Lombardy Region.


She has consolidated experience in developing tools for strategic conversations with potential users and stakeholders, including, among the others, rough products and service prototypes.


She was a visiting scholar in Parson, the New School for Design in New York City in 2010-11 and she taught at the Politecnico di Milano School of Design, School of Architecture and Society and IES Abroad Milano.


The main source of inspiration for design projects comes from everyday life and people. Their stories and desires are the starting point to develop better services answering real needs.

What's your favourite book?

“Da cosa nasce cosa” by Bruno Munari. The book that every designer should read to understand what design thinking means.

What's your dream design challenge?

Designing for public services innovation to positively impact society as a whole

Would you rather ride a bike, ride a horse, or drive a car?

I’m a practical person: up to 10km/day I like riding a bike, to go further I take the train, if there is no train station I pick up the car. The horse is not an option, too much maintenance.