Project: Holding Surplus House

The aim of this project is to explore built environment through giving form to a household that takes what is at hand – and strives to share a surplus.

Project information

Project manager
Åsa Ståhl, Linnaeus University
Other project members
Stephan Hruza, Linnaeus University
Mathilda Tham, Linnaeus University
Svenja Keune, University of Borås
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University, Växjö konsthall, University of Borås
Formas, Public Art Agency Sweden, ArkDes, the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning and the Swedish National Heritage Board
1 November 2021 - 30 October 2025
Design (Department of Design, Faculty of Arts and Humanities)

Video about the project. In Swedish and English.

More about the project

Through building and inhabiting a Tiny House on Wheels, researchers, artists, designers, and the surrounding neighbourhood will explore how we as a household and society can live economically, ecologically and socio-culturally sustainable and just. Together we will experiment with the household and imagine how we can build, maintain and take care of designed living environments that can generate a surplus to share.

The kitchen is a central part of the household. Kitchen textiles will be made into living materials that grow onto the walls in processes where the neighbourhood is invited to partake. Thereby we combine the private household with the public in our strive to turn away from wasteful resource usage.

Reports on global health tell us that the planet is under pressure to even be able to provide humans and other species with liveable spaces. The participatory process in Holding Surplus House is exploring public engagement with science and technology that is not only seeking ways forward through technical and digital solutions, but that also makes space for radical transition and sustainable living no matter the species. Frictions and tensions between imaginaries, aims and values are expected to be an integrated part of the participatory processes and therefore discussions and negotiations will become a core part of the processes.

The aim is that the artistic research project Holding Surplus House can articulate both critique and creative, well-anchored proposals and speculations that can contribute to mundane sustainability. The proposals will vary in material and language, but will, for example, include soil, textiles, wood, short popular science and poetic texts, pictures and academic writing.

Methods and knowledges are developed from the history of the region Småland, participatory design, sustainability research as well as the international feminist research programme community economies and permaculture principles.

Communication is used throughout the Holding Surplus House project as a way of both producing and transmitting knowledge where the invitations to participate are important components.

Funded in a collaboration between Formas, Public Art Agency Sweden, ArkDes, the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning and the Swedish National Heritage Board.