HDW HOP 2017: Parking-space sized minihouse to be built at The Three Smiths statue

The HDW HOP series presents six installations that enliven the city centre during Helsinki Design Week from 7 to 17 September.

The HDW HOP series presents six installations that enliven the citycentre during Helsinki Design Week from 7 to 17 September.

In September, the Helsinki centre will be occupied by huge urban installations. The installation series consist of works by Finnish and international designers and architects, and will study the theme of a city in development.

All installations and their designers will be presented in Helsinki Design Weekly. We’ll celebrate the opening of the HDW HOP installation series together with all citizens on September 7.

People’s Architecture installation takes a stand on tight urban architecture and building solutions for disaster areas. Minihouses built on parking spaces enable people to build more houses and work while reducing the number of cars.

Reconstruction work at Nepal by Hsieh Ying-Chun. © HSIEH YING-CHUN

Who is behind this installation and which other works have the group done before?

The curatorial team for this installation – “People’s Architecture” includes CHIU Chen-Yu, architect HSIEH Ying-Chun and his studio – Atelier-3.

HSIEH and his team have been working on several catastrophe sites as well as rural areas around the world to promote participatory, cooperative and sustainable building methods. The 2011 Curry Stone Design Prize was awarded to HSIEH Ying-Chun to champion his work as engines of social and technical progress by building more than 3.000 houses with local people in natural disaster zones in Taiwan and Mainland China.

How was the idea for the installation born?

The initial idea of “People’s Architecture” installation was initiated by CHIU Chen-Yu and architect Marco Casagrande. The fundamental idea is to convert the existing parking spaces in the city centre into a site for people building their own houses: the costs of building a minimum house should be equal to buy a decent car.


Architect Hsieh Ying-Chun’s project in Nepal. © HSIEH YING-CHUN

All the installations are exploring the development of cities. How doesyour installations reflect this theme?

The future cities need more houses, jobs and less cars. Building houses by people on parking spaces allows them to own their houses, have their jobs and reduce cars on the roads.

Why should people come to see your installation?

Our installation could serve as inspiration for people reclaiming their right to design, build and own their houses in developing their cities.

What will the city of the future be? What should not be disregarded when developing cities?

In future cities, people ‘s houses should be their “acts of production” instead of “acts of consumption”. While people are building their own houses, they are re-building their community and developing their own cities.

Architect Hsieh Ying-Chun © HSIEH YING-CHUN