The Italian SocKETs lab

The National Museum of Science and Technology ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ together with the Italian Association for Industrial Research (AIRI) are the Italian partners of SOCKETs who have created the Italian SocKETs laboratory to experiment co-creation methodologies applied to the sustainable building sector. We experimented participatory approaches with citizens, Third Sector realities, public bodies, research centres and universities, enterprises, professionals and trade associations. The main feature of the collaborative innovation is the involvement of all the actors in the supply chain in in co-creation processes and sharing of ideas and needs to develop and apply KETs. This illustration shows the issues related to the application of KETs in cities, and emerged from the different discussions in the Italian Lab. 

Artwork of Jacopo Sacquegno

Artwork of Jacopo Sacquegno

The Italian SocKETs lab results

The Italian workshop identified some key issues to achieve the circular economy:

  • Modularity and space efficiency with innovative design and construction
  • Urban green, horizontal, vertical or hydroponic
  • Re-use of waste to create new high-performance materials
  • Sustainable energy produced with new technologies and increasingly small, high-performance systems

Unité d'Habitation of Marsiglia, Le Corbusier

Modularity in spaces

Modular, assemblable, disassemblable, transformable and reusable buildings create flexible, customisable and adaptable spaces: in a short time and with low costs you can change living space into shop or office simply by moving walls. 

Prefabricated structures are assembled with shorter times, less waste and greater safety on the building site, even for renovation.

One of the most famous applications of space modularity is the complex residential and urban planning project designed by Swiss architect Le Courbuier in 1952.

Hydroponic cultivation

Urban greens 

Plants improve aesthetics, reduce noise and temperatures. Furthermore, taking care of urban greens together is a great way to increase solidarity among residents. This is why buildings should have communal gardens and green spaces, whether traditional, vertical or hydroponic. The latter do not need soil and are therefore more easily used in the city and on buildings.

Rubber Brick, realized with concrete and recycled tyres by Saperi&Co, Sapienza University of Rome

Re-use of waste

Waste can be reused by reducing resource consumption right from the construction phase, by valorising demolition products and using locally sourced, recycled and recyclable, natural and renewable materials and components. It is very important to create new materials that perform better, such as this uniquely designed thermal/soundproofing brick made by mixing recycled tyres and concrete.

Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC), Functional Molecules and Inorganic Nanosystems Laboratory, ICMATE-CNR and DISC-UNIPD

Sustainable energy

Producing energy on-site is key to reducing economic and environmental costs. This prototype Luminescent Solar Concentrator (LSC) shows how we can introduce new forms of sustainable energy production into our homes. By using a Concentrator as window glass, energy can be produced for domestic use, such as recharging mobile phone batteries. The LSC consists of a sheet of transparent material that captures sunlight and concentrates it on the edges, where a frame of photovoltaic cells converts it into electricity.