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Strangers at Home

Research project 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.

Head of project

Daniel Movilla Vega
Associate professor

Project overview

Project period:

Start date: 2022-06-15

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

UmArts, Umeå School of Architecture

Research area

Architecture, Fine arts

Project description

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.

Latest update: 2023-04-26