Changeable Space as Temporary Home: A Qualitative Exploration of Life in an Experimental Student House

Judith Thomsen, Aksel Tjora


Changeable Space as Temporary Home. A Qualitative Exploration of
Life in an Experimental Student House.

This article reports from a study
of living experiences in a timebased
and experimental student
house, TreStykkeri, that
was designed and then subsequently
constructed in Trondheim,
Norway, during a student workshop in the summer of 2005.
The use of the flexible solutions provided by TreStykker has made the
project relevant for a reflection of time-base as architectural design
premise. In this article, the term time-based denotes a non-permanent
house, where moveable elements are used to change its interior
space, adapting it to different needs from time to time. By analysing
interviews and diaries of the inhabitants, three themes dealing
with living experiences have emerged: (1) the dwelling as a changing
scene, examining the daily use of flexibility and changeability of the
Changeable Space as
Temporary Home
A Qualitative Exploration of Life in an Experimental Student House
room; (2) social life as collaboration, examining issues of social life
and privacy; and (3) the dwelling as image statement, examining the
meaning ascribed to the house by the inhabitants. Our findings in this
specific case indicate that the flexible solutions engage the inhabitants
in creating their home environment. Enthusiasm in (re-)creation
of the house is a way of generating attachment to a temporary home.
On the practical level, the space supports various social activities,
but limits privacy, and therefore collaboration between the inhabitants
is needed. Further, the experimental housing form supports the
contemporary lifestyle of the inhabitants. In general, aspects such as
adaptability of the living space and the possibility for social interaction
are considered important to increase personal attachment to
ones place even if a person only stays for a short period.

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