Architects, designers, artisans and artists - Belmonte Calabro needs you!

Applications open for a unique international summer workshop in Italy, co-organised by lecturers from The Cass.

Date: 16 June 2019

Since 2016, students, graduates and staff from The Cass have been working with local stakeholders and refugees in Belmonte, a town and comune in Calabria, Italy, to address the depopulation of Belmonte's old town. The project, entitled Crossing Cultures, focuses on proposals for public spaces and buildings which can enrich the everyday life of the town and create a larger scale regeneration strategy for the area. 

Over the last three years, the movement has developed a series of different activities which aim to integrate migrants and refugees, who arrive on Italy’s southern coast, into the fabric of depopulated Italian villages. In February a group of second year architecture students went to Belmonte for an intensive and extremely successful one-week construction workshop as part of the “making week” of their technology module.

Crossing Cultures

Crossing Cultures came into being after a student-led summer workshop in 2016 and was initiated by a group of students who formed La Rivoluzione delle Seppie - an active ensemble interested in exploring the boundaries of practice and education.

Sandra Denicke-Polcher, who coordinates the project for London Met with Cass colleague Jane McAllister, said: “Like many villages in the region, Belmonte has lost lots of its population to the big cities where they’ve gone in search of work. At the same time, they’ve had the arrival of immigrants seeking a new life. Since 2016, we’ve been working with the locals to rejuvenate the area and to help bring the communities together for the benefit of everyone. We want to discover ways in which research, design and architecture can be used to improve the cultural and social fabric of rural areas.”

Summer 2019 - applications now open

The next Summer Workshop “Crossings 2019” will initiate the first of a longer-term program, each year completing a fragment of the village now designated for educational use. To answer this question, “Crossings” will collaborate with volunteers, NGO’s, local and international architecture schools, young professionals and most importantly villagers and refugees. The sites claim extravagant views of the town and landscape and as an incremental project will begin to build a new future for Belmonte.

Find out more and apply online (deadline for applications is 23 June)

Graphic from Belmonte Calabro project

Crossing Cultures 2019