Crossing Cultures

Crossing Cultures is a university-based research initiative led by Sandra Denicke Polcher and Jane McAllister. It aims to develop an innovative pedagogical model that facilitates intercultural relationships and group learning, equipping students with essential skills for a globally connected world beyond the subject of architecture. 

The research links design studio activities in London to a long-term live project in Calabria, Italy, run in collaboration with an international and interdisciplinary group of professionals called ‘La Rivoluzione delle Seppe’. 

Calabria is a region suffering from depopulation while simultaneously experiencing the arrival of asylum seekers.The confluence of these opposing developments creates a need to rebuild local communities and presents an exceptional opportunity for students and academics to become agents of change. By creating an experimental teaching and research platform outside the boundaries of the university campus, Crossing Cultures is raising social capital by attracting and integrating students and asylum seekers alike, adding to population and economic growth. 

Through successive field trips and workshops, the project has brought together London Met students, local residents and asylum seekers, interdisciplinary professionals and stakeholders who have formed a community of practice by working together and learning from each other. 

The project aims to experiment with new pedagogical models that facilitate both hands-on collaboration and blended learning. The aim is to create a new, expansive model for studying architecture as an engaged student-in-residence.

Main image: Crossing Cultures by James Rubio