Stories & Projects

UMA in the media: Master Project Published on KooZA/rch


The UMA alumni Sofia Musatti has been published on KooZA/rch with her master project The Size of Personal Space - Adaptation of vacant commercial spaces in potential homes through the involvement of Airbnb. KooZA/rch publishes selected projects that explore and challenge the role of the architectural drawing in contemporary practice.

The project grew from Sofia Musatti's own experiences to find a home, both in Umeå as she did her MA at the Umeå School of Architecture and as an exchange student in Spain.

In both cases the process of looking for accommodations became very exhausting. Due to the exploitive rental market, I ended up living in places that did not provide me with a feeling of safety and dignity. During this period, I met plenty of other people who shared my experiences. Talking to them and later realizing the scale of the problem led to the beginning of the project. I felt it was relevant to emphasize the importance of having a space where you can truly feel at home, even if it is temporary, Sais Sofia in the interview with KooZA/rch.

Many new students arrive in Umeå every year and because of the shortage in housing, they have trouble finding a place to live. Temporary workers also have the same problem. It is difficult to find an available home where the rights of security, sanitary and civic belonging are assured to a reasonable price. The study has identified the meaning of home and its importance for the developing of personal identity of the ongoing growing floating population.

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In her project, she investigates the possibility of Airbnb's as a solution to these problems. The proposal includes the re-use of local vacant buildings in a collaboration between Airbnb and Umeå Municipality. The design is a movable and flexible technology that can change and adapt to different spaces and be detached, packed and transported to a minimum economical loss if the circumstances change.

The project explores the size of personal space and expands the notion of the home. The home mutates into a hybrid, a place for contact with the community, friction and discussion.

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Throughout the project, I met several hosts who talked about their experiences of living with a guest. From what they shared, it became clear that home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb challenge the private dimension of the home. The home is then open to strangers and not only to family and friends. During the time frame of the guest's stay, the home transforms into something different from what the host is used to, where the private and public dissolves. The hosts, intentionally or not, lose their privacy and open up to new encounters, transforming their residences into a meeting place, Sais Sofia.

Sofia has used many different techniques in communicating her project where each technique have a different focus. However, they all include the same level of detail.

Details are what make us feel at home and through details, we personalize our space. The plans and sections shows how the mobile additional structures are attached to the existing building. The model allowed me to explain the relationship between the context and the intervention. Finally, the hand-drawn axonometry is meant to communicate a certain atmosphere with an overview of the whole project, Sais Sofia

Article: KooZA/rch


For more information, please contact:

Emelie El-Habta, Administrator at Umeå School of Architecture, Umeå University

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    The Stories & Projects section is a space for brief updates about the activities at Umeå School of Architecture: notes from on-going projects, links to articles in media, summaries from public lectures, reports on different collaborations. Click on the titles to see each full story.