Staff and students return from latest trip to Calabria.
Date: 10 December 2019
Undergraduate and Postgraduate Architecture students have returned from a successful Field Trip to Calabria, Italy, where they joined The Cass’s ongoing collaborative regeneration project with the Municipality of Belmonte, Le Seppie, villagers and refugees.
The work addresses the depopulation of Belmonte's old town and aims to find a larger scale regeneration strategy for the area. The activities have now started to spread from Belmonte to Mendicino, a larger Calabrian city inland from Belmonte:
On Saturday 16 November, The Cass students, and tutors Sandra Denicke-Polcher and Jane McAllister, were invited to Mendicino to join "Ri-Generazioni", a debate about the possibilities of re-populating the derelict towns in Italy by integrating refugees. The event has celebrated the success of the engagement in Belmonte with PhD student Rita Adamo introducing The Cass and work at the event.
In Mendicino, Cass students also visited a historic silk factory and met with refugees from the local cooperative Il Delfino who are interested in collaborating with The Cass (see group photo). We are looking forward to working with our new connections to have a positive influence on migration by enabling skilling, empowering local networks and helping people to settle.
Since 2016, the curriculum brings annually three separate groups of architecture students to Belmonte in November, February and July with different student cohorts contributing to a growing body of work. This has shaped an architectural dialogue and revealed new opportunities for the village. Having been an emptying vessel for the local population migrating north in the past decades, its socio-political context now hosts a frontier for migration from countries south of the Mediterranean. Students from The Cass have become “agents for change”, making a real difference in the village through hands-on construction and organising events.