Nanotechnology, additive manufacturing and genius loci. A case of jewellery design

  • Debora Puglia University of Perugia
  • Benedetta Terenzi University of Perugia
Keywords: additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, genius loci, territorial design, circular economy


The presented research aims to spread the knowledge of regional excellence through the design of a series of jewels that highlight its Made in Umbria origin, enhancing in an unprecedented way the tangible and intangible riches of the territory. The work shows the possibilities of innovation that arise from the overall strategy of a Territorial Design project by working, on the one hand, on the definition of the peculiarities of the natural and man-made environment, in terms of creativity and aesthetic expression, on the other hand, on the use of nanotechnology to facilitate a conscious use of resources (local waste materials and biopolymers) in combination with the possibilities offered by additive manufacturing.

Author Biographies

Debora Puglia, University of Perugia

Engineer and PhD, she is an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She carries out research activities at the Laboratory of Materials Science and Technology, mainly in the field of polymeric materials and nanostructured composites.

Benedetta Terenzi, University of Perugia

Architect and PhD, she is a Researcher at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She carries out research activities mainly in the field of product-service system design and digital innovation.


Arun, K., Aravindh, K., Raja, K., Jeeva, P. A. and Karthikeyan, S. (2018), “Metallization of PLA plastics prepared by FDM-RP process and evaluation of corrosion and hardness characteristics”, in Materials Today: Proceedings, vol. 5, issue 5, part 2, pp. 13107-13110. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 13 March 2020].

Aspen Institute Italia (2012), Innovation as driver to improve Italian competitiveness. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 13 March 2020].

Barthes, R. (2006), Il senso della moda – Forme e significati dell’abbigliamento, Einaudi, Milano.

Bassi, A. (2017), Design contemporaneo – Istruzioni per l’uso, Il Mulino, Bologna.

Bernasconi, R., Natale, G., Levi, M. and Magagnin, L. (2016), “Electroless Plating of NiP and Cu on Polylactic Acid and Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol-Modified for 3D Printed Flexible Substrates”, in Journal of The Electrochemical Society, vol. 163, n. 9, pp. D526-D531. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 31 March 2020].

Bertacchini E. and Santagata, W. (2012), Atmosfera creativa – Un modello di sviluppo sostenibile per il Piemonte fondato su cultura e creatività, Il Mulino, Bologna.

Cappellieri, A. (2018), Gioielli – Dall’Art Nouveau al 3D Printing, Skira, Milano.

Cappellieri, A., Del Curto, B. and Tenuta, L. (2014), Intorno al futuro – Nuovi materiali e nuove tecnologie per il gioiello | Around the future – New materials and new technologies for jewellery, Marsilio, Venezia.

Celaschi, F. (2008), “Fondamenti del piano di marketing dell’Oltrepò Mantovano”, in Casoni, G., Fanzini, D. and Trocchianesi, R. (eds), Progetti per lo sviluppo del territorio – Marketing strategico dell’Oltrepò Mantovano, Maggioli, Milano, pp. 30-37.

Chiulan, I., Frone, A. N., Brandabur, C. and Panaitescu, D. M. (2018), “Recent Advances in 3D Printing of Aliphatic Polyesters”, in Bioengineering, vol. 5, issue 1, pp. 1-18. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 31 March 2020].

Dematteis, G. (2001), “Per una geografia della territorialità attiva e dei valori territoriali”, in Bonora, P. (ed.), SLoT – Quaderno 1, Baskerville UniPress, Bologna, pp. 11-30.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation (2015), Growth Within – A circular economy vision for a competitive Europe. [Online] Available at: EllenMacArthurFoundation_Growth-Within_July15.pdf [Accessed 22 April 2020].

Farrell, G., Thirion, S., Soto, P., Champetier, Y. and Janot, J. L. (1999), La competitività territoriale – Costruire una strategia di sviluppo territoriale alla luce dell’esperienza LEADER | Innovazione in ambiente rurale, quaderno n. 6, fascicolo 1.

Franzato, C. (2009), “Design nel progetto territoriale”, in Strategic Design Research Journal, vol. 2, n. 1, pp. 1-6. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 08 January 2020].

Gonzalez-Gutierrez, J., Cano, S., Schuschnigg, S., Kukla, C., Sapkota, J. and Holzer, C. (2018), “Additive Manufacturing of Metallic and Ceramic Components by the Material Extrusion of Highly-Filled Polymers – A Review and Future Perspectives”, in Materials, vol. 11, issue 5, article 840, pp. 1-36. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 15 January 2020].

Goretti, G., Cianfanelli, E., Terenzi, B., Tuffarelli, M. and Trivellin, E. (2019), “Artisan as a Maker or Artisan as a not Recognized Co-designer?”, in Di Nicolantonio, M., Rossi, E. and Alexander, T. (eds), Advances in Additive Manufacturing, Modeling Systems and 3D Prototyping – Proceedings of the AHFE 2019 International Conference, July 24-28, 2019, Washington D.C, USA, Springer, Cham, pp. 48-59. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 18 January 2020].

Gupta, A. (2019), How 3D Printing and Nanotechnology will Revolutionize Luxury. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 10 January 2020].

Huber, J. (2000), “Towards Industrial Ecology: Sustainable Development as a Concept of Ecological Modernization”, in Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning, vol. 2, issue 4, pp. 269-285.

Ivanova, O., Williams, C. B. and Campbell, T. (2013), “Additive Manufacturing (AM) and Nanotechnology: Promises and Challenges”, in Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. 19, n. 5, pp. 353-364. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 28 January 2020].

Latouche, S. and Panikkar, R. (2018), Pluriversum – Per una democrazia delle culture, Jaka Book, Milano.

Liu, Z., Wang, Y., Wu, B., Cui, C., Guo, Y. and Yan, C. (2019), “A critical review of fused deposition modeling 3D printing technology in manufacturing polylactic acid parts”, in The International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, vol. 102, pp. 2877-2889. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 31 March 2020].

Magnaghi, A. (2000), Il progetto locale – Verso la coscienza del luogo, Bollati Boringhieri, Torino.

Manzini, E. (2015), Design, When Everybody Designs – An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation, MIT Press, Cambridge-London.

McDonough, W. and Braungart, M. (2002), Cradle To Cradle – Remaking The Way We Make Things, North Point Press, New York.

Mortati, M. and Villari, B. (2014), “Design for Social Innovation: Building a Framework of Connection Between Design and Social Innovation”, in Sangiorgi, D., Hands, D. and Murphy, E. (eds), ServDes.2014 – Service Future – The fourth Service Design and Service Innovation Conference, Lancaster University, United Kingdom, 9-14 April 2014, Linköping University Electronic Press Linköping, pp. 79-88. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 23 April 2020].

Nguyen, N. A., Barnes, S. H., Bowland, C. C., Meek, K. M., Littrell, K. C., Keum, J. K. and Naskar, A. K. (2018), “A path for lignin valorization via additive manufacturing of high-performance sustainable composites with enhanced 3D printability”, in Science Advances, vol. 4, n. 12, pp. 1-15. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 31 January 2020].

Niaounakis, M. (2015), Biopolymers – Applications and Trends, William Andrew, Oxford (UK).

Pauli, G. (2014), Blue Economy – 10 anni, 100 innovazioni, 100 milioni di posti di lavoro [or. ed. Blue economy – 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Millions Jobs, 2010], Edizioni Ambiente, Milano.

Piergiovanni, R., Carree, M. A. and Santarelli, E. (2012), “Creative industries, new business formation, and regional economic growth”, in Small Business Economics, vol. 39, issue 3, pp. 539-560.

Rullani, E. (2013), “Territori in transizione: nuove reti e nuove identità per le economie e le società locali”, in Sinergie | Rivista di studi e ricerche, vol. 31, p. 141-163. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 31 January 2020].

Rullani, E. (2004), Economia della conoscenza – Creatività e valore nel capitalismo delle reti, Carrocci, Roma.

Sepahvani, P. (2015), Influences of additive manufacturing (3d printers) on the production cost and future of jewelry industry, Thesis of Master of Science in Management Engineering, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Supervisor: Prof. Alessandro Brun. [Online] Available at: %20thesis%20final2.pdf [Accessed 10 January 2020].

Tao, Y., Wang, H., Li, Z., Li, P. and Shi, S. Q. (2017), “Development and Application of Wood Flour-Filled Polylactic Acid Composite Filament for 3D Printing”, in Materials, vol. 10, issue 4, article 339, pp. 1-6. [Online] [Accessed 31 March 2020].

Trigilia, C. (2007), La costruzione sociale dell’innovazione – Economia, società e territorio, Firenze University Press, Firenze.

Verganti, R. (2009), Design-Driven innovation – Cambiare le regole della competizione innovando radicalmente il significato dei prodotti e dei servizi, Rizzoli, Milano.

Villari, B. (2013), Design, Comunità, Territory – Un approccio community-centred per progettare relazioni, strategie e servizi, Libraccio Editore, Milano.

Zuniga, J. M. (2018), “3D Printed Antibacterial Prostheses”, in Applied Science, vol. 8, issue 9, article 1651, pp. 1-10. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 31 March 2020].

Collection ‘SPOlet me know’ (by B. Terenzi) dedicated to the city of Spoleto; ring inspired by the Romanesque style of religious architecture; PLA with deposition of gold nanoparticles. AGATHÓN 7 | 2020
How to Cite
Puglia, D. and Terenzi, B. (2020) “Nanotechnology, additive manufacturing and genius loci. A case of jewellery design”, AGATHÓN | International Journal of Architecture, Art and Design, 7(online), pp. 210-219. doi: 10.19229/2464-9309/7222020.
Design | Research & Experimentation
Share |