Diploma 3

The Contemporary Factory


This year Diploma 3 focused its research on ‘the contemporary factory’. Often overlooked by architects, the increasing complexity of the modern factory and warehouse offers the opportunity to establish a new dialogue on the relationship between industry, technology, engineering and architecture. In particular, we investigated the functional, structural and environmental demands of large technological envelopes.

We studied the organisation of the contemporary space of production: the flows of matter, humans and machines; the production lines and their spatial requirements; the programmatic proximities and the strategies of the compartmentalisation of functions. We built and studied prototypes as a means for understanding the relationship between structure, material systems, spatial qualities and organisation. We considered recycling and car plants, body-parts factories, natural stone extraction and manufacturing plants as well as agricultural factories. For these, we developed material, geometrical and structural systems by means of computational protocols and material craft: pre-fabricated performative flooring/facade/partitioning panels for a plant that can be disassembled and relocated; recycled masonry systems; adjustable moulds for a customised discretisation of the envelope; lamellae to allow natural ventilation and sun shading; fully fitted composite panels for a grey-collar factory.
Furthermore, the unit travelled to Turin where we visited and studied some of the most inspiring examples of twentieth-century industrial architecture.

Special thanks

Albert W Taylor
Angel Lara-Moreira
Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange
Brett Steele
Bruce Davidson
Carol Patterson
Ciro Najle
Charlie Corry-Wright
DaeWha Kang
Daniel Bergsagel
Evan Greenberg
Filippo Innocenti
Hanif Kara
Javier Castañón
Jens Pedersen
Jeroen Janssen
Jessica In
Jessica Reynolds
John Bell
Jordi Pages Ramon
Kostas Grigoriadis
Luis Viu Rebes
Matt Chan
Mehran Gharleghi
Mei Chan
Nacho Marti
Natasha Sandmeier
Robin Adams
Tommaso Franzolini
Valeria Segovia
Yasaman Mousavi

Unit Staff

Daniel Bosia is Director at AKT and head of the p.art team. He is a qualified structural engineer with an MSc in Structural and Bridge Engineering and a Masters in Architecture. He has more than 15 years experience in delivering high-profile building projects, pavilions and large-scale public art installations. An Honorary Professor at Aalborg University, he has lectured at many universities in Europe and the US including the AA, ETH, UPENN, IIT, Yale, Columbia and Princeton.

Adiam Sertzu is an architect and researcher in the p.art team at AKTII. She has conducted a number of design workshops at various universities including KTH, Weimar Bauhaus and EIABC in Ethiopia. Her interests lie in the transformative quality of materials as an active vehicle for dialogue and engagement within the social, economic and environmental realm.

Marco Vanucci is the founding director of OPENSYSTEMS Architecture, an architectural practice that bridges experimental design and practical solutions through computational protocols. He is curr- ently working on a variety of projects ranging from furniture to large-scale inter- national projects. He has taught at KTH Stockholm and has lectured widely in Europe and the US.