31 October 2019, 11.30am – 6.00pm

Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD 

Book tickets (free)


A symposium supported by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and the Architecture Space and Society Centre.

Organized by Mark Crinson and Claire Zimmerman.

This one-day symposium explores new research on factory architecture and images of factories between the Industrial Revolution and the present day, and across several different countries. Housing changing technologies, and acutely related to the unfolding of social and work relations central to industrial capitalism, this building type is critically important for understanding how modernization has taken place over two and a half centuries. Its legacy remains with us today, in contemporary industrial installations as well as the ongoing production of heritage narratives focused on buildings and places.

Factories offer distinctive ways to understand architecture as a globally interconnected phenomenon, intimately tied to urban change, visions of modernity and technological utopia. The event will offer speakers and audiences the opportunity to share ideas around questions of political economy in architecture



Tilo Amhoff, University of Brighton

Peter Christensen, University of Rochester

Mark Crinson, Birkbeck

Anke Hagemann, Technical University Berlin

Katie Lloyd Thomas, Newcastle University

Claire Zimmerman, University of Michigan


11.30-11.45 – Welcome and introduction

Plan and Image
11.45-12.30 – ‘Ancoats, 1826 – or, how to represent a factory’ (Mark Crinson)
12.30-1.15 – ‘The planning of the factory in Germany, 1898-1918’ (Tilo Amhoff)
1.15-2.00 – Lunch

2.00-2.45 – ‘Getting to know the shape of smog’ (Peter Christensen)
2.45-3.30 – ‘Between cables, industry and home’: Women, building products and STC
Factory, New Southgate in the interwar period’ (Katie Lloyd-Thomas)
3.30-3.45 – Tea

3.45-4.30 – ‘Building the global factory – architectures of transnational clothing
production’ (Anke Hagemann)
4.30-5.15 – ‘From Truscon to AMTORG: Moritz Kahn and the global networks of Detroit’
(Claire Zimmerman)
5.15-5.45 – Discussion


Book tickets (free)