This project was the focus of a workshop of one week in the context of the Alta Scuola Politecnica Schools. It was commissioned by Thales Alenia and foresee the teamwork of almost 20 people involving engineers, designers and architects. The brief followed the contemporary status of the Gateway mission planning. The crew arrived for the first time with EM-2, but with EM-2 and EM-3 the permanence would last less then 30 days. For these two missions, then, trash could be returned in the Orion capsule. How- ever, with next stays lasting up to 30 days, there would not be enough capacity. Our task was to generate trash management ideas within an integrated perspective and evaluate them. Our group was composed of 18 people, among engineers, architects, and designers.

Scenario Design




ASP School Workshop with aerospace company Thales Alenia


Large interdisciplinary team

My role

Crew comfort and waste management, as leader of crew comfort team


Working in such a large number of people and on such a complex and multi-faceted issue, required a clear organisation of the team structure and aims. Therefore, leader and sub-leaders were nominated, and a variety of different tools were applied in order to direct the collective efforts consistently. The next pictures show the ones which proved pivotal in the development of our concept.

Network of interconnected problems

The potential impact of one problem on another is highlighted through a relation so that different groups continuously communicate. As leader of the sub-group about Crew Comfort, I kept record of these evolving relations and interacted with the other leaders when mismatch shown up.

Contradiction models

Contradiction Models help to generate ideas on two desired contrasting outcomes by pushing them to absurd. Through this reasoning, I generated a concept to reduce the waste related to clothes without reducing the crew comfort.

Combination of partial solutions

 In order to finally integrate everything in complete proposals, we created a matrix with alternative solutions to any issue to evaluate them within the system.

Evaluation of solutions

We assigned scores and weights based on the clusters of priorities and requirements defined within each sub-group.

Final Proposal

Our final proposal, developed in 5 days of workshop, aims to reduce as much as possible the waste creation rate through reusing and recycling of material, thus minimising the logistic transportation. One logistic module is used as temporary logistic cargo, supported by an automatic system to optimise the loading and unloading procedures. Another one is readapted as “upcycle module” and permanently docked to the habitat unit. The strategy is to maximise the self-sustaining ability of the environment, with the production of fresh food onboard supported by the recycle of organic waste. Moreover, a 3D-printer is fed with plastic recycled from packaging and polymers extracted from urine and exploited to produce equipment and replacement parts for maintenance.


The challenge here was the collaboration and integration of different backgrounds in a very short time. Also, the management of so many and so different aspects involved. Moreover, I was entitled of a role of leadership which pushed me to focus more on handling the different inputs through my expertise more than directly applying it. However, the concept was presented in front of the ASP community, and was recognised with the mention of the audience's choice.