Once upon a time, in a small village of Catalonia, an old and abandoned paper and textile factory built in 1754 was rescued from collapsing and disappearing for ever. In this historical patrimony, a new type of “experimental textile” was being woven.
While society was facing many simultaneous crisis – climate, environmental, financial, social and political – people living at this factory aimed at looking at the problem from another angle: rethinking life at the village level, in complementarity to what was being done at the city level.
Now imagine that “once upon a time” is actually today. Imagine that it is happening at The Transition fACTory: how can we create “Smart Villages” for a sustainable and regenerative 21st century? How can we have a better quality of life? How can we create our own energy and our own food? How can we create useful bridges between villages and cities?
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(image on top: entrance to the fACTory)
(image : woodsketch and plans done by the architects)
At a time when society seems trapped in several crises, The Transition fACTory plans to offer one of the most progressive living and experimentation place in Europe. A hub where theory meets practice, where solutions to problems are created and where these can be replicated in other villages/cities.
What can be built and found at The fACTory?
It is a place to live to experiment sustainability with 4000+ m2 of living space and 1000+ m2 of common spaces;
An international co-working space to work + high tech FabLab for hardware and software open source solutions;
A high quality conference venue for individuals and organisations working to build a better world;
A place to produce our own organic food with the land around the fACTory;
A place to produce our own renewable energy;
A place to reinvent co-mobility, by developing electro-mobility and sharing mobile systems, in complementary to the public buses and trains.
A place to reinvent work and life at the village level, in connection with Barcelona and Tarragona, as well as other villages nearby.
(image : 20 minutes walking from the fACTory)
These are the main elements behind our project. We hope it will also inspire you!
- LONG TERM VISION : in opposition to the currently dominant “short-termism”, we want to create a project with a long term perspective
- SUSTAINABLE HOUSING : a house is a right, and not a simple good to buy and sell. We will therefore create affordable and anti-speculative housing .
- COMMON PROPERTY & DECISION MAKING : decisions are made by all members.
- TRANSPARENCY : information will be available for all members, and not in the hands of a minority.
- MUTUALISATION : inefficient individual use will be replaced – when possible – by an efficient common practice to share spaces, knowledge, ideas, time, goods, services, etc.
- PRIVACY & EQUILIBRIUM : Aside to the mutualisation, we also believe in a balance between private and common spaces, in order to protect the individual privacy of every single member.
- WORK EXPERIMENTATION : At a time of a brain-drain from villages to the cities, we want to re-locate skills in the villages thanks to Internet, co-working, and FabLabs, among others.
- RESPONSIBILITY : No one can just sit and watch at The fACTory. Each according to their abilities, everyone has rights, as well as duties.
- COMPLEMENTARY DIFFERENCES : differences are optimized to make solutions more sustainable : local & international, private & public, individual & community, hardware & software, young & less-but-still young, male & female, cities and villages.
- DIALOGUE : Last but not least, complementary differences requires to deeply learn the skill of dia-logue through facilitated meetings and decision-makings. No one has got the full truth; we all share parts of it.
Saül, Matthieu, Rafael & Adolfo met around a similar idea and passion: reviving dying villages and foster transition solutions.
Matthieu is the “social architect” with 10 years experiences in urban eco-village and cohousing. Group facilitator and co-founder of L’Echappée cohousing (18 flats) in the center of Brussels, Belgium. Doctor in Political Sciences and film director of The Brussels Business about corporate lobbying (ARTE, RTBF). Author of Homo Cooperans 2.0 (French, Spanish) about the collaborative economy, with a preface by Michel Bauwens. Contact him in English, French, Italian, Spanish.
Saül is the “physical architect” with 20 years of experiences in the field of public and private architecture in Catalunya. He is also among many other things the core project leader at Reviure Solanell, an abandoned village at the border between France and Spain. Contact him in Catalan & Spanish.
Rafael is the cultural architect, as a geographer and a photographer with more than twenty years of experience in rural development processes and heritage valuation. Expert in the recovery of traditional walking and trekking paths as well as in the promotion of alternative mobility in today’s societies. Conductor of the projects for the creation of networks of roads of the Priorat and of the Anella Verda de Tarragona. Contact him in Catalan, Spanish, English.
(image: seaside at 7 km from the fACTory, to refresh your ideas every now and then )
We have now legally secured a contract with the current owner of the Factory, and we have received the support from the village elected representatives. We are also in contact with SostreCivic for the legal cooperative and anti-speculative structure of the whole project.
In case you want to know more about the project as a potential resident, an investor or a supporter, and be at the fore-front of transition alternatives in Europe, do not hesitate to contact us using this form!