“Rotating walls can be opened or closed and create either an expansion of the unit, or a room of one's own isolated from the dwelling. What space do you need?." A dwelling type from A room of one ́s own: Make room for your inner needs. Anton Magnusson, MA thesis project, 2023.Image:Anton Magnusson
Radical Domesticities Swedish Housing Standards
What constitutes Swedish domestic space? What forms does it take? What discourses is it meant to perform? Domesticity is a concept that goes hand in hand with a clear notion of the home: a private, affective, and unwaged domain for the development of ‘family life’. However, this notion is only a fiction. If we take a closer look at the history of domestic space, we will soon reveal a heterogeneous collection of spatial, material, and political statements nested in highly specific socioeconomic circumstances. The Greek oikos, the Roman domus, the Frankfurt dwelling for minimal existence, the Swedish family apartment… the history of domestic space is full of attempts to domesticate a human group efficiently. Behind each of these seemingly natural domestic types lies a radical domesticity: an architectural experiment on life, love, and labour, a trying out of a new way of administering life rooted in a specific political vision.
”Reality stopped in motion with objects of varying degree of temporality.” A domestic fiction from The pendulum of homemaking: Interface of home and objects (including humans) in a temporal built environment. Axel Gillblad, year 4 project, 2023.Image:Axel Gillblad
”A fragment of the average of all apartments approved for construction in Umeå 2021.” A 1:1 sample from The uncanny Swedish standard prototype. Frida Block, MA thesis project, 2023.Image:Frida Block
Context of investigation
Housing norms and standards have played a key role in the design of residential architecture in Sweden since the 1940s. Over this period, changes in housing policies have led to varying definitions and regulations of Swedish domestic rooms, dwelling units, and residential clusters, allowing their existence, defining their configuration, and framing their performance. But what prompted the introduction of these specific norms and standards? What economic, technical, and political regimes shaped them? What is their spatial and material configuration? What gaps do they leave? Studio 11 investigates the architecture of domestic space through projects that challenge the status quo of Swedish housing standards. By intervening in the spatial, tectonic, and political mechanisms in which housing architecture operates today, we will redefine and qualify the present and future of the Swedish home.
Studio Agenda and Methodology
The outcome of the student’s work is a radical domesticity formulated as an architectural thesis. During the autumn semester, the Studio stages a projective investigation of Swedish domestic space through three Architectural Experiments: domestic room, residential cluster, and dwelling unit. During the spring semester, the students choreograph a fourth Architectural Experiment around the lenses of agents, theories, and tectonics. The execution of each experiment is developed in conjunction with a research question, that is, an inquiry into a specific topic on domestic space that will guide the design of the student’s project during the academic year.
Studio Teachers: Daniel Movilla Vega (studio responsible), Mette Harder
Latest update: 2023-08-30