Studio Excultura (with Sasha Topolnytska, Geoffrey Salvatore)

Young Architects Competitions' Space to Culture

Bologna, IT

Guild-UP! is a proposal to rethink the former factory as an incubator for modern guilds – collectives of young individuals coming together to create productive organizations for the city’s future. Learning from Bologna’s rich history of merchant guilds and the formation of the modern university as a communal living and working experience, this project re-engages these historical traditions in the context of a contemporary society.  

Medieval Bologna was a cultural epicenter of guilds – associations of trade or craftsmen – which gave rise to the university as an institution of collective innovation and direct community relevance. Today, the targeted users of this facility are the would-be culture-makers - the millennial generation facing uncertain futures amidst an era of economic depression, lost tradition, cultural shifts, and globalized industry.

This project recognizes that the production of goods has been separated from its former cultural value, and constructs its answer to this within the shell of a former industrial building in a location with a rich history of learning and making. The former factory embodies this separation between production and culture.  

Our goal is to curate a spatial environment to promote the creation of future guilds as permanent social, educational, cultural, and commercial institutions for the local and global community. User-collectives form, develop, and grow into new during their residence in the building. As a live/work/make facility, it is their collective house, school, workshop and platform for demonstration of their future organization. The building is composed of 4 components: the Live/Work, the Kitchen, the Shed, and the Archive.