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IN² Demonstration: The Possibilities of a Plug-and-Play Kitchen

Housing, Materials

For its latest National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)-based cohort, the Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator (IN2) formed an all-demonstration group, where each participant would create a demonstration of their technologies as part of the program.

The IN2 startups will complete their demonstrations over the next several years, helping them in their goal to see their technologies reach the market. Providing a real-world example of each startup’s technology helps bring in new customers and partners after presenting a visual example of success.

Among the first to have its demonstration project underway is San Francisco-based Kit Switch, which is working with Habitat for Humanity and deploying pilots in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“We create the building blocks to form apartments inside existing structures, starting with plug-and-play kitchens,” said Armelle Coutant, co-Founder and CEO of Kit Switch. “In terms of creating more circular and sustainable cities, reusing existing structures is a less carbon-intensive way to create infill housing. Our minimodules are designed for flexible layouts and reconfigurability, enabling spaces to stand the test of time and adapt to changing uses.”

An all-women-led team that met at Stanford University, Kit Switch creates tools to turn empty hotels, garages, and other underutilized spaces into more permanent and affordable housing options through the addition of kitchens. The Kitchen Kit includes a back wall panel that hosts preinstalled electricity and plumbing, simplifying the installation. Read more on NREL.gov.


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