UG Architecture Studio 03: Parallel Farming – In an Age of Alternative Industries

Studio brief

"Never demolish. Transformation is the opportunity of doing more and better with what is already existing. The demolishing is a decision of easiness and short term. It is a waste of many things – a waste of energy, a waste of material, and a waste of history…"
(Lacaton and Vassal, winners of Pritzker Prize, 2021)

In response to the ongoing Covid pandemic and environmental crisis, Studio 3 will explore the future of living on two contrasting sites, one in urban London and one in rural Calabria. These are continuing live projects, building up on previous work done by students of Studio 3 and postgraduate Unit 6. We will be working with a network of allies, Kentish Town City Farm and Camden Council in London; Le Seppie and the municipality of Belmonte Calabro in Italy, as well as local community groups on both sites. Focusing on one of the two sites, you will be designing Parallel Farms for Kentish Town’s City Farm in London or for the medieval hill-top village Belmonte Calabro in Italy. In an Age of Alternative Industries, you will develop new concepts of how to (re-)build local communities through hybrid industries of making, agriculture and shared living, introducing the use of new sustainable building materials.

The task of this project will be to create reasons for a new local generation – which might include you – to build a sustainable community through new activities. You will analyse, understand and develop your proposal by joining a discussion with your peers about both sites: are there better ways of organising the way we will live in cities and villages in a new post-Covid and sustainable world?

The year, however, will start by investigating and designing a small piece of social infrastructure on left-over sites along the north London Overground line between Camden Town and Gospel Oak. You will test your ideas as part of the Kentish Town Planning Framework by presenting to Camden Council.

There will be an opportunity for Studio 3 students to travel to Italy for a 1:1 construction week in Belmonte together with Unit 6 postgraduate students. Working with the Italian Collective Orizzontale you will continue the work of previous students and help building a new community in the village.

Image credit: Communal living and working in the Casa, Italy. Documentation by Ian Apolis Bugarin and Joe Douglas, 2021

Colourful line drawing depicting everyday activities as they happened in the Casa, Italy


Tutors Sandra Denicke-Polcher
Jane McAllister
Academic Facilitator for Calabria Project Rita Elvira Adamo
Where Goulston Street
When Tuesday and Friday


Architecture studios