Potsdam Summer School 2017: Community – Together as individuals

The visionary lab I took part in during Potsdam international week with Maiju, Annamari, Veronika, Tabea, Marie and Sophia explored the theme of communities, including things such as teamwork, co-housing and what does it mean to live together. Communities was also a recurring theme throughout the whole week.

On Wednesday we had an excursion day where we got to know three different co-housing projects with very different backgrounds. They were located near each other in Babelsberg. The first house had a challenging but an interesting background with squatters – together they formed a community with more or less anarchist background values. The second one’s community had taken their time to find the perfect place suiting their needs and was very kid-friendly. In Projekthaus Babelsberg 25 people live together, work together and aspire to a more democratic, anti-capitalist way of living.

Overall it was nice to learn the very different histories of the co-housing projects. Many common principles in living were in common though, things such as shared common areas and values, together planned events or a trial period of 3-6 months to be accepted into the living community. I believe that it requires an open, accepting mindset to find your own place in a co-housing project. Of course first you need to find a group that you really want to live with. It made me rethink about the way us Finns view living together and how in general mindsets could be expanded in the matter. I really hope to see rise in co-housing projects in Finland in the future.

“Sun ject – our community” (2017)

During the lab we visualized our thoughts into concrete visual sculptures. The final end result turned to be an installation built in a form of a house. We named the final product “Sun ject – our community”.

-Nina