assemble, the first architecture studio to win the turner prize, has activated the outdoor courtyard of A/D/O — a creative design hub in brooklyn, new york. the london-based collective has turned the space into a ‘model factory’ that explores utopian ideals of work. following assemble’s acclaimed work in the UK, the project is the firm’s first site-specific installation in the US.

assemble model factory
all images © sam nixon

 

 

the installation forms part of the inaugural season of the design academy at A/D/O, which considers the theme of ‘utopia vs. dystopia: designing our imagined futures’. from mid-february through late april 2017, assemble, A/D/O and its collaborators in the tile manufacturing process will devise a model place of work and a set of processes and products that will describe an alternative vision for how society should build and function.

assemble model factory

 

 

the centerpiece of the project is a ‘factory’, which has been constructed out of galvanized steel, and enclosed with a roof and clad by clay tiles. the structure will evolve over time using a single industrial clay extruder and an electric kiln, housed within the workspace. over the course of three months. the project intends to produce a unique range of products, including planters and permanent tiles for the courtyard, and dinnerware for on site restaurant.

assemble model factory

 

 

the scheme takes its name from an essay by william morris, who imagined the ideal factory as a place where work, leisure and education intertwined. in morris’ vision machinery doesn’t render skilled workers futile, but rather complements creative work. ‘with ‘a factory as it might be’, we are interested in how utopian ideas can be applied to the very practical reality of construction, and how building elements — and their method of production — can become an expression of social, economic and political aspirations,’ explains lewis jones, founding member of assemble

assemble model factory

 

 

members from granby workshop — the social enterprise assemble set up as a part of the ongoing rebuilding of a neighborhood in liverpool, england — aided in the conceptualization and construction of the factory itself, while serving as instructors in the tile extrusion process. the granby team also evolved its own practice while at A/D/O, developing a wide range of applications that can simultaneously be applied at granby.

assemble model factory

 

 

assemble studio’s interest in the broader implications of their work and the potential for design to have real-world impact strongly resonates with the core tenants of the design academy,’ says daniel pittman, design director at A/D/O. ‘the team has successfully framed ‘a factory as it might be’ as a conduit for collaboration, and we’re excited to see how this project unfolds within the growing community at A/D/O.’

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

assemble model factory

 

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