Factorial is launched with the aim of providing an international platform for debate and reflection on arts factories.
This first edition of Factorial will focus on presentations of outstanding experiences promoted by institutions and art production centres, and on expanding and strengthening existing networks.
The main objective of this event, promoted by Culture Institute of the Barcelona City Council, is to think aloud about such issues as: strategies for creative development; the tension between excellence and proximity; and the role of art factories in reinventing a city's creative fabric.
Through a programme of workshops and round tables, we shall also consider such common issues as governance, mobility, the social return, finance and communication, all from a European-wide perspective.


Oct. 29

14:00 – Registration

16:00 – Opening of the seminar

  • Opening of the seminar
    Director for the Promotion of Cultural Sectors, Institute of Culture, Barcelona
    Director of Culture and Creativity, Education and Culture Directorate General, European Commission
    Deputy Mayor for Culture, Knowledge, Creativity and Innovation, Barcelona City Council

16:30 – Conversation on the Barcelona Art Factories Programme and other European models

  • Archetypes, stereotypes, local models ... Towards a typology
    Moderated by:
    President, Association of Theatre Companies of Catalonia (Adetca) and Vice-President, Focus SA
    Director for the Promotion of Cultural Sectors, Institute of Culture, Barcelona
    President of Interarts Foundation
    + Read more

    Defining what is and what is not an art factory is a complex exercise, one framed in the fundamental tension between a container (often a heritage site, sometimes industrial) and content (which is not always creative, or not only creative). This dichotomy generates a highly heterodox typology in which it is possible to identify historical archetypes and frequently-found trends that shape a landscape characterised by high diversity. In this sense, each factory is a world, and the same is true of the way in which different cities have designed local networks of art factories. The purpose of this opening session, which will begin with a presentation of the network of art factories in Barcelona, is to make an initial approach to drawing a map featuring the basic coordinates that make it possible to describe this diversity.

17:30 – Round table 1

  • Art factories, cities of culture: cultural policies in suport of creativity”
    Moderated by:
    Director, Interarts Foundation
    Director of Culture and Creativity, Education and Culture Directorate General, European Commission
    Director - Department for Culture Strategy, Stockholm
    Broker to the cultural industries, government and public agencies, UK
    + Read more

    At present, promoting and encouraging creativity, amongst both artists and citizens, is a key aspect in cultural policies. However, it is clearly not always possible to promote creativity by decree. The guest speakers at this first discussion table will put forward their views on various important questions, including, particularly, the following: does good practice in promoting creativity exist that is potentially transferrable to other territorial contexts? Is the creativity that is spoken of more and more in the world of production and the new economy the same creativity that is spoken of in the world of the arts and culture, or not? And what role can art factories play now and in the future in this new intersection of engineering creativity and cultural creativity, a situation marked by ever increasing complexity?

19:30 – Opening reception, Fabra i Coats tour and artistic proposal

Oct. 30

09:30 – Workshops

  • T1. Old and new models of governance at art factories
    Director, A.M.I. - Centre National de Développement pour les Musiques Actuelles, Marseille
    + Read more

    The aim of this workshop is to meditate on the way art factories are managed and to assess new and old management models in the light of recent paradigms found in the governance of culture, and which include such important aspects as co-management between different players, interdisciplinary factors, public-private partnerships and the "multi-level" presence of different public authorities.

    -> Workshop in English with Spanish translation 

  • T2. Art factories, creation and the market
    President, Association of Theatre Companies of Catalonia (Adetca) and Vice-President, Focus SA
    + Read more

    To what extent can the programmes of art factories be considered initiatives that provide active and explicit support to residents with regard to their market presence and the sale of their works? This workshop will discuss the possibilities for action in this sphere, taking into account significant case studies.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

  • T3. Art factories and social return
    Director, ICC Consultors SL, Barcelona
    + Read more

    The habitual and obligatory transparency of traditional cultural centres often contrasts with the relative opacity of art factories. This is due both to their architecture and to the nature of their initiatives, which are often subject to an inexorable logic of trial and error. Examining the issue, this workshop will study whether provisions should be made for a social return in terms of accountability and visible results as a key element in the programmes of art factories.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

  • T4. Art factories, audiences and citizens
    Director, Mercat de les Flors, Barcelona
    + Read more

    As a result of the logic implicit in cultural action, the main forum for contact between artists and public is usually provided by cultural promotion and the organisation of activities and events. However, spaces for creation need not necessarily be out of bounds to citizens. This workshop will address the importance of overcoming the romantic cliché of the artist in his/her ivory tower to encourage possible new forms of coexistence (and even cooperation) between them and viewers.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

11:00 – Coffee break

11:30 – Round table 2

  • Art factories: between the pursuit of excellence and promotion of the local
    Moderated by:
    Director of the Institut Ramon Llull
    Director, Matadero, Madrid
    Director, Pogon (Zagreb) and member of the Executive Committee of Culture Action Europe
    Director of Culture at Lille Métropole
    + Read more

    The pursuit of excellence and promotion of the local are often conflicting dynamics that mutually ignore each other within the framework of territorial cultural policies. At best, they are strategies that have nothing to do with each other: measures aimed at placing a city or a region on the map, linked to excellence, often ignore what happens, culturally speaking, in the neighbourhoods and the suburbs, and which often generate broad consensus amongst citizens. And vice versa: cultural policies have yet to assimilate the idea of building excellence from the local. In this light, is the growing tendency of many artists to engage with community processes a good way of reformulating this relationship? Can art factories provide a meeting place between the local and the pursuit of excellence?

13:30 – Lunch break

15:30 – Workshops

  • T5. Heritage containers: threats and opportunities
    Professor of Architectural Projects, ETSAB (Barcelona School of Architecture)
    + Read more

    This workshop takes as its starting point the fact that, although the use of heritage sites for culture adds unquestionable symbolic value to such initiatives, converted heritage (whether industrial or not) is not always the best container for artistic creation. The basis for discussion will be provided by a case study of the site that hosts this meeting, the former Fabra & Coats textile mill, as participants reflect on the opportunities and threats posed by its conversion into an arts factory.


  • T6. Factories, artistic mobility and artists in residence
    President, network European Nursery for Young Artists
    + Read more

    Insofar as hosting artists in residence is something inherent to the very raison d’être of art factories, generating opportunities and promoting mobility are essential elements that need to be taken into consideration, particularly as the free circulation of artists on a global scale often encounters myriad administrative complexities that can make such a thing a nightmare or a utopia.

  • T7. Sectoral networks and Art factories
    Direction of Cultural Promotion, Basque Government
    + Read more

    Based on a project to establish a network of industrial sites engaged in promoting culture in the Basque Country in recent years, this workshop seeks to summarise (through the experience of participants) the basic ingredients, the working logics, the advantages and the difficulties faced by a network of local initiatives devoted to art at converted sites in a particular territory.

    -> Workshop in Spanish


  • T8. Art factories and local development
    Coordinator of the Roca Umbert Art Factory in Granollers
    + Read more

    The Agenda 21 for Culture, which provides a roadmap for local authorities with regard to cultural issues and sustainable development, launched by the world organisation United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) ten years ago, has been updated to ensure that the promotion of creativity and support for artistic initiatives with a community dimension occupies an even more central position.

    -> Workshop in Catalan with Spanish and English translation. 


17:00 – Coffee break

17:30 – Workshops

  • T9. New financing opportunities for art factories
    Director of Programs and Resource Development, ResArtis
    + Read more

    Within a context of widespread economic crisis and large cuts in public resources devoted to culture, all cultural initiatives are forced to seek alternative or complementary forms of financing. This workshop will review the most successful existing formulas (crowdfunding, the sale of products and services, sponsorship) from a European perspective that may also be useful for art factories.

    -> Workshop in English with Spanish translation 

  • T10. Territorial networks of art factories
    Coordinator, La Escocesa
    + Read more

    One of the most important logical steps in the work of art factories is their inclusion in local networks, which are usually heterogeneous, often pursuing very different missions with different dynamics, formed by a series of cultural facilities and operators that are active in a single neighbourhood or community. This workshop will review the most common problems and possible joint initiatives based on a concrete reality: the situation of art factories in Barcelona.

    -> Workshop in Spanish.

  • T11. Modeling an indicator system: concepts, measures and data
    Director, ARTImetria, Barcelona
    + Read more

    Starting from the assumption that assessment is a tool which enables a given project to be developed in the medium term, this workshop presents the resources that currently exist to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate the operation, results and impact of activities carried out by art factories.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

  • T12. Barcelona’s system of art factory indicators
    Responsible for studies and evaluation, ICUB
    + Read more

    The network of art factories in Barcelona has recently been provided with a system of indicators integrated into the mechanisms for assessing culture in the city established by the Institute of Culture. The aim of this workshop is to present these indicators and report on the results of their application, exploring the possibilities for their possible transfer to other realities.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

19:00 – Visit to the Central del Circ Art Factory, artistic proposal and reception

Oct. 31

09:30 – Workshops

  • T13. The technological dimension of art factories: old and new tools for creation
    Co-director of La Mandarina de Newton
    + Read more

    One of the traditional strengths of art factories is that of giving artists the chance to work with resources that, due to cost or specific characteristics, they cannot generally access. Nowadays, this opportunity to share tools opens up a theoretically boundless horizon of possibilities. This workshop will encourage exchanges of experiences and circumstances related to the use of new tools for creation at art factories.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

  • T14. International networks of art factories
    Director, ART-idea
    + Read more

    Art factories, inherently cosmopolitan, have a long tradition in the field of international cooperation and networking. The aim of this workshop is to describe what these international networks are and how they work, bearing in mind that they have often been key in the spread of art factories in different parts of Europe. This will lead to reflection on their weaknesses and the uses of such networks.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

  • T15. Art factories: creation and research
    Director, Hangar, Barcelona
    + Read more

    Research has become an intrinsic dimension in contemporary art processes. However, despite the undisputable presence of this dimension in the creative practice of many artists resident at factories, research rarely forms part of the basic architecture of such facilities. This workshop will discuss the relationship between art factories, creation and research, the state of the question, and the future challenges.

    -> Workshop in Catalan with Spanish and English translation

  • T16. Art factories: educational programmes and the intersection between education and culture
    Coordinator of the Barcelona Art Factories Program, ICUB
    + Read more

    Education and culture are two fields that have traditionally been at odds with each other, despite their frequent institutional pairing. To some, they are one and the same thing, whilst to others they are complete opposites. The most frequent stance is to consider them as reciprocal resources. The intersection between culture and education is an area that has been and continues to be the subject of study and analysis, but this has still not led to systematic practice or the inclusion of both in either cultural or educational policies. This workshop will focus on experiences which demonstrate that this dialogue is also a necessary at art factories.

    -> Workshop in Spanish

11:00 – Coffee break

11:30 – Round table 3

  • The place of art factories in the cities’ cultural strategies
    Moderated by:
    President of the National Council of Culture and the Arts (CoNCA)
    Director BureauBroedplaatsen - BBp, Amsterdam
    Director, Spinnerei Leipzig
    Coordinator Agenda 21 for Culture, Committee on Culture of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
    + Read more

    Besides providing the best possible services to the artists that work in them and the citizens that use them, art factories generate unquestionable impact in the cities that promote them. This impact can be seen in such phenomena as: the restoration of heritage (both industrial and not); the regeneration of urban areas in decline; the promotion of new economic activities; the contribution to inclusive social dynamics; the creation of a more deeply rooted sense of identity: and the projection of a brand image. However, misuse or abuse of culture in transforming cities can cause problems, contribute to inappropriate development or fail to meet criteria for sustainability. At this final discussion table, the debate will focus on estimating the correct homeopathic dose that will enable culture to generate virtuous effects based on detailed knowledge about tried and tested experiences.

13:00 – Closing session - Conclusions by an outside expert observer

  • A retroprospective reflection
    Consultant in the field of cultural policies and management, open inovation and global communication strategies
    Director for the Promotion of Cultural Sectors, Institute of Culture, Barcelona
    + Read more

    A meeting is not exactly a congress. For this reason, there is no provision at Factorial for the delivery of conclusions to summarise, in a formally structured way, the input generated at the discussion tables, workshops, visits and experiences that will take place over three days of intense work and personal encounters. Instead, we have invited a highly experienced outside observer, an expert in the field, who will accompany us in all the activities programmed and, as we approach the end of the event, share his thoughts and ideas with participants in a retroprospective way, that is to say, projecting his proposals into the future in the form of challenges and considerations that should be taken into account at future editions of this international meeting of art factories.

14:00 – Visits to Art Factories Nau Ivanow and Hangar (lunch included)

14:00 - Visits to Art Factories Ateneu Popular de 9 Barris and Graner (lunch included)



Fabra i Coats
Fàbrica de Creació de Barcelona

Fabra i Coats - Barcelona Art Factory is a multidisciplinary space dedicated to supporting artistic creation, located in the former industrial complex of a 19th-century thread and textile factory in the district of Sant Andreu.

It currently has 6.500 square meters of surface area intended for housing cultural events and projects in cultural investigation, experimentation and creation in various disciplines: the performing arts, music, visual arts, audiovisuals and multimedia creation.



Factorial is a project by:

Developed in cooperation with:

Scientific Secretariat:

Technical Secretariat:


factorial@bcn.catT. +34 93 318 26 50

Fabra i Coats – Fàbrica de Creació
Carrer Sant Adrià, 20 (Sant Andreu)
08030 Barcelona

How to get there:
Metro: L1 (Sant Andreu)
Bus: 11, 40, 73, 126 and N9
Renfe: Sant Andreu Comtal