"A piece of art  is built around you that is also - for the fleeting period it exists - a genuine community."

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

home sweet home is an inter-generational, durational spectator-led installation. It is a miniature flat packed cardboard town, created by those who wish to build it.

The boundaries of the town are laid out in advance with key environmental and geographical features as well as infrastructure and land plots for home dwellings in place. Flat packed cardboard buildings are prepared and placed on the canvas ready for purchase by the participants in the building of the new community.

Participants choose a plot, buy a house and decorate it as they wish. Some plots will allow for garden space, which can also be individualised by house owners. Varied craft materials can be found at the edge of the town, which participants can use freely. Participants can also use their own materials if they wish.

The building of this miniature village becomes an interactive experience as neighbours start to talk to one another and make plans for their community. Residents decide street names and neighbourhood issues can be addressed through regular collections and deliveries of post and through the possible election of a residents committee.

There is also a local radio station, which not only entertains but also facilitates communication between the residents and the district member of the County Council and gives airtime to local issues. The cardboard town soon becomes a living, thriving community.

When the buildings are all sold and the community is built the street party heralds the end of this transient, miniature world of cardboard buildings. The community is dismantled but residents can take away their house and so carry with them a trace of the community that was, and their role within it.

home sweet home’s philosophy is represented through the aesthetic use of white, flat packed, buildings set out upon a white canvas. It is so arranged to allow for art, and life, to meet somewhere in the middle. home sweet home is a live art experience  that is designed to allow people to create their own piece of art and bring their own personal experiences to the process. It also allows them to take complete ownership. When one takes part in home sweet home anything is possible!

An Audience Journey

1. home sweet home estate agents greet new residents and do all the  necessary paperwork.

2. Residents choose where they would like to live from a map of the community.

3. Residents choose what sort of house or building they would like to construct.

4. After signing a short term letting agreement, residents are handed their very own house key.

5. Residents enter the installation and find their numbered plot.

6. On each plot, is a resident’s handbook explaining the town features and how to build their house. 

7. Residents get comfy and build their property around the edge of the town.

8. A supply shed provides tools and materials to decorate, and individualise property.

9. Residents make their mark, and place their property in their plot- ready to engage with the town features.

10. A street party takes place on the final night, so residents can celebrate the formation of their unique community.

Town Features

Immediately on taking up residence community members can engage with their neighbours and Community Council by using the postal service, the noticeboard and the local radio station.

Postal Service

Residents FM


Community Notice Board

Community Consultation

Each installation is site specific. We collaborate with the local community and base our canvas on the locality we are presenting in. home sweet home does not try to replicate the town or city but to  build on recognisable features in order for audiences to re-imagine it. 

 Key community building's are built and placed in each installation, in order for art and life to meet somewhere in the middle.   

Workshops for young people

  • Community Consultation. The installation can be used as a platform for informal community consultation about local, political, and architecturally concerns, sustainability and or redevelopment.
  • Education. Working with venues we can provide workshops for young people on community issues such as citizenship and the community.
  • Family learning. We can hold child and parent session, which engage both children and adults

"There is something rather thrilling about watching an entire city mushroom in a room almost overnight - particularly when you are building it yourself."

The Guardian

Using Format