UG Architecture Studio 03: Weaving the Factory Village

Studio brief

‘The two sister arts of Agriculture and Industry were not always so estranged from one another as they are now. There was a time, and that time is not far off, when both were thoroughly combined: the villages were then the seats of a variety of industries, and the artisans in the cities did not abandon agriculture; many towns were nothing else but industrial villages.’

(Kropotkin Petr Alekseevič. The Industrial Village of the Future.)

Idea: to re-imagine Belmonte as a factory village. Program: to weave a factory amongst the uninhabited 40% of the village. Process: to invent and recycle new indigenous fabrics – tectonically and materially. Architecture: to weave tectonic and material fabric – building and textiles, setting and society.


During the last decade, Belmonte has increased in social confidence and media visibility through engagement with Studio 3 and Le Seppie. We now ask, what should happen to its future? How will the village sustain a kind of living which acknowledges the land, its people and novel ecological industrial production? Can its scale, local knowledge, and involvement manage its enterprises to outperform purely corporate growth? And can the ‘Factory Village’ reform depopulation, to a new form of living?

This year we will explore the life of textiles, their process, production, and by-products; how they make the ‘Factory Village’ and associated cottage industries. We will deploy ‘weave’ as metaphor to explore the school’s workshops playing with their representational and tectonic forms – veils and tensile structures.

Partnerships & Residency:

This continues a live project, building up on previous work developed by students of Studio 3 and postgraduate Unit 6 since 2016. The ambition of this project is to speculate and build a sustainable community. You will collaborate with our Italian partner university, the Politecnico di Torino, as part of the School of Common Project, and work with the Italian Collective Orizzontale . This will continue the work of previous students and help develop the community hub in the village. As part of this, Studio 3 will offer an opportunity for 3rd year students to join a 10-week partly funded residency in Belmonte during Autumn Semester to deepen their onsite research.


Tables in factory space, steam, lit from above. People in yellow uniforms.


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


Architecture studios