The new economic policies introduced by Industry 4.0 Programme reaffirmed the centrality of the
manufacturing industry, now strengthened by the technological implementation of products and
processes. This new approach is based on the interconnection of the different components involved in
the production of companies’ competitive value and with a strong integration between production
activities and services: a smart production model that embraces the new technological paradigm to
encourage processes of constant and circular interaction among products, people, production and the
market; a system in which relations are increasingly mediated by systems connected to the Internet of
Things (IoT), Big Data analysis, Wearable Technologies as well as dense Cloud Computing networks;
a new pervasive technology empowering the new paradigm at the base of the redesign of public and
private space, of social and economic relations, of labour and productive processes.
In this context, the Fashion Industry finds in technological conversion a new opportunity to compete in
global markets. Technological innovation reshapes processes, work organisation and information and
changes the meaning of products, consumption and the value of goods themselves. The Fashion
Industry changes its highly manufacturing nature into a new hybrid organism capable of integrating
products and services in a context increasingly oriented to the enhancement of immaterial features
(Trends Research, Branding, Retailing, …). The repercussions in the domain of professions, training
processes and the skills needed to guide the new innovation processes are now evident. If on the one
hand the smart industry leads to the disappearance of some professional figures, on the other hand it
highlights the need for new professional figures and for a profound renewal of the existing ones.
In addition to disciplinary knowledge and, more generally, in addition to all those skills traditionally
related to the Fashion System, there is a need to integrate the transversal knowledge of social,
managerial and problem-solving nature more closely with the design-applicative knowledge. In this
framework, the authors present an interdisciplinary educational module, part of the DigiMooD Project,
an on-going Research Program run at European level by six HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) to
develop and test new pedagogical approaches.
Keywords: Higher Education; interdisciplinary educational modules; transversal skills; Fashion Industry; Retail Design System.