The Common Roof project consisted of Göteborg Cooperative House, House, an ongoing construction; the Makers Fair, home inventions and DIY activism; collaboration with Göteborg residents and, especially, two local initiatives, Digital Storytelling and Byggemenskap; a workshop on housing rights, a workshop on Wearable Houses; a parade of Wearable Houses to the Göteborg Town Hall; and more.

Photo by Attila Urban

Title: Göteborg – The Common Roof – Göteborg Cooperative House
Date: June 16–August 18, 2013
Location: Röda Sten Konsthall Göteborg, Sweden
Project by: Röda Sten Konsthall
Albin Andersson
Supported by:
Röda Sten Konsthall, Göteborg


Photo by Attila Urban

Photo by Lars Dyrendom

Photo by Lars Dyrendom


Göteborg – The Common Roof Project

For The Common Roof project – Göteborg Cooperative House, Röda Sten Konsthall is inviting residents of Göteborg to conceive of and construct a housing unit at Roda Sten konsthall according to their opinions and desires. The exemplary unit, based on community values, is composed of distinct spaces and designed to house a number of families who would live and work there. The structure is a proposal by residents of Göteborg for a new urban housing unit founded on principles of participation and cooperation of residents. The result will be the fruit of an encompassing process, involving the participants in every step, from the initial discussion and gathering of ideas to the actual construction of the house and related facilities and activities that it might host. As Marjetica Potrč says “it is their contribution to re-imagine the city they live in, and their proposal towards how they might want to live together in a fast approaching post-neoliberal era. This is a good moment to re-imagine and envision urban coexistence founded on residents’ participation”.

Conceived in dialogue between Marjetica Potrč and Lucia Babina, The Common Roof project addresses a number of questions regarding the way we live in our cities today, such as: What means self-organization and local empowerment? What is the vision of a future Goteborg by its residents? How self-sustainable can housing units, neighborhoods and cities get? Who designs and builds the house?  Do we need architects?  What is the balance between public and private? What does it mean to live together?

In the spirit of participatory design, Röda Sten Konsthall becomes a site of exchange of knowledge and practices, with involvement of Göteborg residents and students of Design for the Living World HFBK Hamburg. During the entire summer, the Cathedral, the main exhibition space at Roda Sten konsthall , will be transformed into a building site. The cooperative house and its related facilities will take shape and be built during this period. Workshops to gather ideas about the different aspects of the housing unit will precede every construction session. In addition to this process, a “makers fair” related to housing inventions and DIY activism will take place at RSK during the opening weekend of the project. A series of talks, discussions and inspirational examples on housing rights and alternative ways of living, developed in collaboration with Digital Story Telling and Byggemenskap will accompany the project all along.


Digital Storytelling – Love Lidén and Kasia Michnik

roda_sten_digital_storytelling_Stolles hus

Photo courtesy Love Lidén and Kasia Michnik

This weekend I visited Johan Carlsson in Orust who is building a house around the remains of a 19th century fishing boat. It’s a quite special and beautiful and I got some great material there for one of the films.
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Byggemenskap – cooperative housing

Sweden is one of few counties that does not support social housing, Göteborg: lack of subsidized housing. Currently there are several initiatives (cooperative housing) that negotiate with municipality – the city gives a building and residents are responsible for everything else.
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Marjetica and Edi Muka, artistic director, talk about conceptual similarities betweenThe Common Roof and next Goteborg Biennial, which starts when The Common Roof exhibition / event closes.
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