Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Jane McAllister

Studio 03: Crossing Cultures – Re-thinking Campus

Refugee Centre in Amantea, Italy. Credit: James Rubio

Studio brief

Crossing Cultures – Re-thinking Campus

The studio is concerned with architecture as a form of agency, involving civic making through practice. This means that we are concerned with how architecture is formed through local knowledge and festive practices, backdropped by the pressures of capitalism.

This year, we place ourselves at one of these pressure points in southern Italy, in the small mountain village Belmonte Calabro, which is experiencing gradual abandonment as the young locals migrate north for employment, and a new young estranged population arrive on the Italian shores in search of new beginnings.

We pose the question whether the introduction of industry and education to the village could bring the indigenous and new population together as a way of “re-thinking the local”. For our first project, we will work with the two architectural typologies from the local area; 'suburban sprawl' and 'medieval village', exploring these through models, animations and projections, and finally drawings. We will use these outcomes to develop the major design project 'Re-thinking Campus' for the village of Belmonte.

In November, Studio 03 will travel to Belmonte to explore the local culture through food and gather research for the major project aimed at strengthening Belmonte’s identity through industry and education. The building will be public in nature with a workshop and training centre to sustain old expertise and initiate new skills, reviving local agriculture, creating new potential for industry and employment opportunities. This is with the hope of attracting young people back to the area and foreigners to contribute to the 'crossing of cultures'.

We are asking you to question the current relationship between industry and education and challenge the status quo by introducing you to surrealist films, situationist texts, and by exploring these in relation to the occupational modes of Raumplan and Plan Libre.

Projects developed by our students will actively shape local discussions and show up new opportunities for the village. As a method of working, this ongoing live project involves existing undergraduate and postgraduate students, graduates, refugees, villagers, cross-school collaborations with the intention to build a vital insight to Crossing Cultures.


Course Architecture BA (Hons)
Tutors Sandra Denicke-Polcher
Jane McAllister

Goulston Street
Room GS1-16

When Tuesday and Friday

Architecture Studios

Studio 01: The Gesture of a Building

Alex Bank and Sam Casswell

Studio 01 is looking at the contribution architecture makes to the life of a place.

Studio 02: After City: Assemblage, Incrementalism and Infrastructures

Colin O’Sullivan and Charlotte Harris

Studio 02 will examine and propose design interventions in Germany this year.

Studio 03: Crossing Cultures – Re-thinking Campus

Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Jane McAllister

Studio 03 is concerned with architecture as a form of agency, involving civic making through practice.

Studio 04: Place for Play

Anna Ludwig and Rufus Willis

Studio 04 is looking at how the space of play has coexisted and still coexists with spaces of exchange and circulation, political space and cultural space.

Studio 06: Collaborations

Andrew Jackson, David Leech and Martin Nässén

Studio 06 will focus on the theme of ‘Collaborations’ and continue to investigate the ideas established by the studio in recent years and will again work with good examples of historic and contemporary architecture.

Studio 07: FIT

Robert Barnes and Bo Tang

Studio 07 will be basing this year’s work in Athens, Greece as both a continuation and new departure for the Architecture of Rapid Change and Scarce Resources.

Studio 08: good growth

Gareth Morris and Ulrike Steven

This year Studio 08 will be responding to the Mayor of London’s call to create a ‘City for All Londoners’ based on the principles of ‘good growth’ – ‘development that is socially, environmentally and economically inclusive.’

Studio 09: Public Rooms, Convergent Spaces

Jillian Jones, Ewan Stone and David Howarth

Studio 09 will look to how new spaces for cultural and community provision in London’s East End can be more locally generated.

Studio 10: Old, New, Hot and Cool

Kieran Thomas Wardle and Owain Williams

Studio 10 will propose buildings which are old, new, hot and cool and develop architectural projects which sit between these definitions to explore the role of the architect as a critical agent in society.

Studio 11: Well Built

Edmund Fowles and Ingrid Petit

Studio 11 will turn their gaze to some of the oldest institutions in the world, places that will become your home for several formative years in the pursuit of ‘higher education’ – universities.

Cass studios archive by year