CHICAGO (CBS) — As Mayor Emanuel’s European trip continues, his office announced Wednesday a new partnership between the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Polytechnic Institute in Milan, Italy.

Denis Weil, dean of IIT’s Institute of Design phoned in from Milan to say his school signed a formal agreement with the School of Design at Politecnico di Milano University. WBBM’s Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports.

“Design is really about unleashing creativity of the ‘many,’” he said.

And its function, as well as form. Weil said this is a five-year agreement.

“And, we will basically every year take on a different urban opportunity, or get to help scale sustainable economies and communities in urban environments,” Weil said.

For the first year, he said, the focus is on manufacturing.

“What ecosystem is required to make this, have an impact to scale? To really grow local manufacturing again…,” he said.

There will be graduate exchange students, but also shared research and work on real-world challenges between U.S. and Italian students to find better ways of doing things.

“Every year, with every topic, we’ll have a different faculty lead who matches the area of research, and have one or two of their PhD students alone, and make sure they teach the class,” Weil said.

Design, he said, is not just focused on creating things, but systems and environments for doing things.

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