XFactory – Greenwich University


Project Description & Aims

1.0 BRIEF:

To abstract an architectural intent, through the construction, assembly and siting of a series of components forming an autonomous system to engage, adapt and learn with the public and place of the River Lea Delta.


This year we want to turn the design process on its head. We shall begin with the detail and move out into the architectural strategic systematic consequences generated by the simple component.

Our guide this year is a book by Douglas Coupland ‘Generation A’. Set in the near future, where a group of 5 individuals, from around the world are stung by honey bees, months after the bee population was believed to be extinct. This seemingly random event then thrust the group into global awareness as Generation A, to tell stories about the way we live and propose radical alternatives.

3.0 AIM:

To define an architectural agenda through making, future manufacturing, 1:1 construction, design of components and system assembly of an X Factory.


There are 3 progressive projects in the year to produce an X Factory for Generation A :

1.0 The Component

  1. .1  We begin with a boat trip up the River Thames to the River Lea Delta and fringes to register all you observe in, on, above the site.
  2. .2  Select and gather 5 components, these can be inspired by the site registration.
  3. .3  Register, Record and Research your components. Ask yourself why, what, where, when and who questions for each component.
  4. .4  Design, develop and make 3 original components inspired by the site components.
  5. .5  Studio Field Trip to various factories including the Portland Sculpture & Quarry Trust in Portland(where St Pauls, Regent Street, Greenwich Maritime and the Queens House Portland Stone was sourced); the Whitechapel Bell Foundry (where Big Ben was forged); Hooke Park, Dorset (a functioning architecture Wood-Workshop designed by Frei Otto) and the Morgan Car Factory, Malvern (the last family run hand built car factory in Britain)2.0 The System
  1. 2.1  Draw the new components to scale in section, elevation, axonometric and perspective.
  2. 2.2  Make a series of models using multiples of your components in one system. Produce at least 6 synthesised system model proposals that interact with a site conditions and people.
  3. 2.3  Select the most suitable to install for social engagement in the River Lea Delta. Construct the proposed system at 1:1 and test it on site in the Lea River Delta and fringes.3.0 The X Factory
  1. 3.1  Make a briefing document including drawings and models for a major building proposal in the River Lea Delta.
  2. 3.2  Design and propose an X Factory for the near future. Synthesis your architectural intentions from the component and the system to propose a major building of suitable complexity to be sited in the River Lea Delta and Royal Docks area in East London.
  3. 3.3  Second years have the program of a Factory, Third Years shall define their own program according to their individual agendas developed during the year.


An interview will be provided shortly with staff and students from the architecture department of Greenwich University, about their research and outcomes to the project.


Further Reading

Further information can be found online at….

Project Timeline



October 2012 - Project Started


January Visit 2013 - Research and Development Started at the Stone|Work|Space & "Gifts for Portland" given.


June 2013 - Opening of Drill Hall & Stone|Work|Space exhibition featuring "Gift For Portland" work


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