Textiles, Machines, Flow and Factories

A essay published in "Twisted: Lafayette 148 New York Factory in China"

Factory with large concrete arches, providing high open space for many workers.

Atelier Esanders, Paris. In his design for this new clothing factory, prepared in 1908, Auguste Perret sought to reduce the reinforced concrete structure to a minimum and emphasize lightness. 

This essay by Brian Carter seeks to examine integrated design and trace the development of the factory as a building type.

This relates to Carter's earlier work in practice in London and subsequent research including that on the work of Albert Kahn which prompted publications and an exhibition in the Art Gallery at the University of Michigan. It has also inspired FORMCHANGE - the seminar that Carter taught at UB and which examines the evolution of various building types. 

Twisted, the volume in which the chapter is published, is a collection of essays using the Lafayette 148 New York factory in Shantou, China as a foil to discuss issues of textile manufacturing, global/ local building practices, concrete construction in relation to labor, and evolving nature to factory typology.

The book presents the building as an artifact of architecture, with detailed documentation of images and drawings. The book also presents essays that offer a series of distinct but interrelated responses to the many questions that arise when building a garment factory facility in contemporary China. Issues addressed range from the architectural import of the building typology, to the ecological footprint of a factory, to social and architectural concerns regarding labor as well as construction practices, to the ethics and aesthetics of factory building.

Is it ultimately possible to address the social inequalities produced by global garment manufacturing through design?

Lead Architect



Actar Publications

Date Published