The idea behind Itaca is that even the most inhospitable space can be rendered hospitable if the right technology is applied. With the correct systems, any circular space with a diameter of 33 meters (108.3 feet) can be turned into a year-round permanent residence for two adults and two children. Itaca is a good example in this sense, relying on geothermal HVAC, solar panels and rainwater collection to be completely self-sufficient and off the grid.
Surrounded by a green belt, Itaca is self-sufficient when it comes to food, as well. Ideally, this would make it the most suitable solution for housing in areas struck by natural disasters, where land or resources have been diminished, and locals have to make do with whatever was left. It could also work for areas dealing with housing or severe financial issues.
Itaca has two-fold benefits: it is a 3D-printed construction, and it is an integral part of an optimized circular microeconomy. The latter ensures that residents can live independently and completely off-grid, while also minimizing their carbon footprint and maintaining ecological balance.
“For us at WASP, Itaca represents a step towards food, water, energy, and economic self-sufficiency. For us, 3D printing and digitalization are a response to the needs of humanity,” Massimo Moretti, founder of WASP, says of the project.
The video available at the bottom of the page shows the highlights of the project, and how Itaca would achieve self-sufficiency. If all the specifics have been ironed out, WASP has not made them all public just yet, but the same statement notes that Itaca is a viable concept. To confirm that, the company has already acquired a plot of land outside of Bologna, where the first Itaca home will be built. That is to say, there are plans for more than just one unit.
As much as we like to dream of a space-traveling and space-colonizing future, the harsh reality is that life on Earth isn’t getting any easier, thanks to issues like climate change and over-population. A self-contained family unit solution like Itaca would not solve these issues, but at least it could offer a viable means of survival.
The development of the first Itaca home(s) will be part of a larger educational project spearheaded by WASP, a laboratory for innovation and experimentation that will hopefully attract more partners.