Factory Blues

Bachelor of Architectural Design
Semester 1, 2022

Studio leader(s)

Set in Melbourne’s Western suburbs; on Boon Wurrung and Wadda Wurrung Country; over the deep basalt geology of the Western Volcanic Plain; between Naarm (Port Phillip Bay), the Maribyrnong River and Kororoit Creek; from Williamstown in the south, to Yarraville, Footscray, Maribyrnong, Braybrook, Sunshine, Brooklyn and Altona; this studio studies the FACTORY as the connector between the ecologies of the natural world and the materials we use to build our cities.

Focusing specifically on the bluestone, concrete and metal scrap industries in both historic and contemporary contexts, we will map patterns of industrial use in relation to geology, water and natural ecologies and document /draw the remnant industrial built fabric such as infrastructal elements, to heritage listed factories, machinery, objects and tools. We will then examine how industries, manufacturing and fabrication are changing, considering new technologies and processes such as robotic fabrication and 3D printing, as well as new models for green and carbon neutral industries.

We will begin by designing a series of smaller objects, products and building components from bluestone, concrete and recycled metal, and work up the scale of industrial buildings and factories. At the same time, you will speculate on a new industrial pattern for the western suburbs of Melbourne, critically examining the supply chains and impacts of the extraction and manufacturing of these materials on the landscape and ecologies from where materials are sourced.