Workplace of the Future


This project creates a flexible workplace model that helps small- and medium- sized garment producers more flexibly adapt production schedules while improving collaboration and learning on the job..

This new and innovative design groups different types of sewing machines in cluster configurations that very according to the work to be done. The team production model replaces the typical assembly-line configuration, increasing quality, flexibility, and throughput..

Cluster workplace at Coco&Rico

In addition to making the sewing process smoother, this workplace design has the additional advantage of being a more sociable layout. This addresses the problem many manufacturers have of attracting a younger workforce; the new format allows for more “face-time” and greater exchange of work-related conversation as well as sociability.

This model is appropriate for work teams of 4-10 people in any kind of textile environment. Technological elements can easily be incorporated into the workstation.

Who’s involved

The project has been conceived and coordinated by Maria Adele Cipolla (eZavod) and Jesse Marsh (Prato) and has also received the support of the WORTH Partnership Project. Applications have been carried out, together with Luca Leonardi of Consorzio ARCA, in the following settings:

  • Sartoria Sociale (TCBL Lab in Palermo, first prototypes for social acceptance)
  • Coco&Rico (TCBL Associate in Paris, implementation in small-scale production facility)
  • Katty Fashion (TCBL Associate in Iasi (RO), testing in larger scale production facility)
Goals and Objectives

In the fashion industry, garment assembly is either organised informally as a tailor’s atelier (with high quality but low efficiency and productivity) or with mass production, hard to adapt to customer-driven short runs. In addition, the work environment of the production line leads to a growing alienation of workers, thus reducing both the transmission and enhancement of knowledge in the sector and the quality of the final product. What is needed is a middle road approach that can allow the atelier to scale up and the factory to scale down.

To overcome these obstacles, TCBL has worked on a new workplace design able to transform garment production facilities in different contexts, from the artisanal lab to large scale production. The goal is to design a healthy, attractive and stimulating workplace based on small island configurations for the assembly of finished or semi-finished garments. The team production model adopted favours an open source approach to the actual workplace, experimenting different layouts and dimensions in more open and flexible contexts.

Contact Person

Jesse Marsh,

Luca Leonardi,