Resilience and the City
The building blocks for a new kind of architecture
A Bartlett team tested their micro-factory approach for localised production in East London, enabling community participation in designing and building the homes they need.
“House Block made tangible the social and economic possibilities of decentralised modes of digital fabrication.”
The two-storey, 52 sq m structure was built on the site of a former playground in Clapton over a three-week period. It was delivered in partnership with Hackney Council, as part of an ongoing discussion and shared interest in alternative methods of affordable housing delivery and development of small plots. House Block made tangible the social and economic possibilities of decentralised modes of digital fabrication. In partnership with New City College’s Hackney campus, a work experience programme invited students who might normally not engage with automation to explore how it may benefit their practice. Through the assembly of 320 blocks, 70 construction, carpentry and multi-skills students and apprentices participated in a dialogue about the potential of localised automation (such as CNC milling and robotic assembly) with short production chains that upskill local labour and create new kinds of jobs in a more inclusive, just future.