UmArts warmly invites you to an open studio event at Smedjan, where we will unveil the creation process behind the Small Visionary Project “Strangers at Home,” a work-in-progress architectural installation by architects Daniel Movilla Vega, Lluis J. Liñán, Anneli Zetterström, and Oskar H. Germann.

Strangers at Home” is a projective exploration of the interplay between Swedish housing provision and everyday domesticity. Through meticulous material selection and tools, we challenge conventional notions of Swedish domestic space, sparking dialogue on architecture’s pivotal role in shaping societal narratives. In so doing, the installation serves as a platform for critical inquiry into the resilience of prevailing Swedish housing design recommendations and confronts the paradoxes inherent within ‘the Swedish home’. Come journey with us as we navigate the interplay of power dynamics and identity within our built environment. Together, we’ll delve into the implications of fabricating and assembling this architectural prototype.

Open Studio times:

5 April at 15.00-17.00

8 April at 13.00-16.00

9 April at 13.00-16.00

10 April at 13.00-16.00

The UmArts Displacement and Hospitality working group brings together researchers from different disciplines exploring the relationships between host and guest in relation to migration and displacement in the north of Sweden.  Several researchers across UmArts are investigating the urgent relations of hospitality and care involved in moving between countries and cities, from the physical process of moving a house, to rethinking Swedish Building standards, and the challenges of addressing issues of migration and the right to work.

In 2022 the ‘Moving North’ project was awarded a New European Bauhaus / ArkDes Vision I Norr fund for developing proposals to increase social integration in the city by exploring forms of reciprocity between migrants, refugees and host communities.  Moving North was a cross-sectoral team consisting of an artist, a curator, architects, a cultural geographer, architecture students and the organization Hej Framling. Based on a strong foothold in northern Sweden and with experience of both collaboration and participant-based methods in places with increased migration and relocation, Moving North critically explored how different placemaking processes can promote social participation and social sustainability. Their findings are recorded in the short film ‘Folketstad: A city of many parts’ 17:40 which address the challenges of restrictive migration and labour laws on people’s well-being at a time when the North is rapidly expanding and recruiting a new workforce.

The Moving North group presented their research at the Transformations 22 Conference ‘Artistic Research in a Time of Change’ at Vetenskapens hus, Luleå University of Technology, 17-18 November 2022; and at the European Conference in Umeå, February 2023.

Strangers at home: A study of how volunteer housing support for asylum seekers in Sweden is reshaping domestic architecture.  

This architectural research project examines the interconnection between Swedish non-institutionalized housing provision for asylum seekers and everyday domestic practices. Though barely investigated, these emergent housing modalities bridge a gap in the provision of accommodation for adolescents facing relocation orders to other municipalities. Since 2015, volunteer homes in northern Sweden multiplied and underwent major architectural transformations to provide these youths with stable housing. The spatial transformations in the affected dwellings push the limits of architectural design and raise critical questions about the resilience of current Swedish housing design recommendations for the construction of ‘the Swedish home’.

By translating spatial, material and social surveys into a 1:1 domestic prototype, the project contributes unprecedented analysis of the implications domestic space has on everyday life, shows how housing design relates to societal circumstances, and provides an interdisciplinary framework to revise the design and regulation of domestic space.

The Embroidery Group will regroup in 2024 with a focus on redesign, visible mending and re-use in textiles and architecture. The group brings together researchers interested in the relationship between stitching and sustainability. The embroidery group was initiated by Lena Liljemark and Emma Ewadotter in 2021, and will restart in 2024 with a new series of workshops and meetings.