Per Hasselberg

15 maj, 2012 02:26

At Moderna Museet in Stockholm 2010 Per Hasselberg created a Small House Bureau. Hasselberg revives a housing experiment that was abandoned along with the Swedish Welfare State: the rented apartment. The project lets tenants cooperate with public housing companies and construction companies to adapt their own dwellings, for instance by opening an apartment towards a park, enlarging a room by moving a wall, or building an extra storey with a roof terrace.

The project is based on community and self-determination: once the tenants have formed a collective, the Small House Bureau forms a construction company together with the housing company; the tenants manage design and construction work. With this project, Hasselberg associates himself with several traditions, for instance the original small house bureau; Hasselberg’s organisation is named after a 1920s housing policy scheme, which granted small, short-term “home-builder” loans to workers, enabling them to build their own prefab house without a cash down-payment. However, whereas this original small house bureau, which exists to this day under the name of Småa hus, could be said to promote the private entrepreneur, Hasselberg emphasises the democratic aspect of his project: self-built housing is one step in a comprehensive neighbourhood planning scheme, aiming to encourage the development of collective life in all its heterogeneity.

On the other hand, the Small House Bureau belongs to a broader tradition of more or less realistic architectural and urban planning projects spanning from early 20th-century garden cities, worker suburbs and allotments, to the diverse dreams of a radically democratic city that can be perpetually reconfigured, as in Constant, Yona Friedman or Luc Deleu. By reviving these traditions and creating the potential to diversify the design of public housing, Hasselberg proves that it is still possible to conceive viable alternatives to Swedish contemporary plutocratic segregation policy.

Per Hasselberg arbetar i utställningen; ETT RIKTIGT HEM – EN REPLIK PÅ EN REPLIK (maj 2012 på Sven Harrys Konstmuseum i Stockholm) med frågeställningar som rör samhällsplanering, demokrati och arkitektur. Utifrån en samtida kontext intresserar han sig för den svenska folkhemstanken. I det konceptuella verket Husvagnsprojektet undersöker han var gränsen går för vad samhället kan tillåta när det gäller att skapa sig en boplats. Projektet handlar om att gå från att vara exkluderad (hemlös) till att uppfylla de normer som samhället satt upp för att betraktas som en fullvärdig medborgare.