• open doors
  • open hearts
OPEN transformation is doing a pilot project where asylum seekers get leave from the reception centre to live in private homes for a short while.

About

OPEN transformation is a project that is part of Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016. The project team consists of Silje Klepsvik (architect, Kaleidoscope Nordic), Elisabeth Søiland (architect) and Åsne Hagen (sociologist). We want to demonstrate that it is equally possible and necessary to renew the way Norway as a society receives asylum seekers.

Together with Hack for Humanity, we are working on a digital platform to facilitate private accommodation for asylum seekers. We envision this to be a possible supplement to reception centres. Get in touch at opentransformation@gmail.com

Silje Klepsvikarchitect
Åsne
Hagen
sociologist
Elisabeth Søilandarchitect

Collaborators

We collaborate with Hack for Humanity (Sinan Softic, Amra Softic, Adam Gullerud Haeger and Natale Hugvik). Furthermore, we would like to thank those who have volunteered as hosts or guests. We are also grateful to the advisers Svein, Nuray, Kawa, Susanne, Marwan and Ragne, whose input helped us create the fictional profiles seen in the prototype.

In addition, we would like to thank Tellef Grønlie, Shwan Karem Wahed, Else M. E. Abrahamsen, Makers’Hub, Ketil Blinge, Christine Annexstad, Linn Landro, Kristin Bøhn and Susanne Demou Øvergaard.

The pilot project

We have the go-ahead from the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) to do a pilot project exploring our suggestion of private accommodation for asylum seekers. The idea for the pilot is to match asylum seekers who need a change of environment with hosts who have a spare room or apartment. Several possible hosts got in touch early on to be part of the project.

So far, our main challenge is to get in touch with candidates who may get permission to leave the reception centre during the time frame where the room or apartment is free. The population of reception centres is ever changing, particularily in the transit phase. In addition, many reception centres have been repurposed or put out of service as the number of new arrivals is dwindling. Despite these logistical challenges, we have finally managed to set up the first exchange for the last half of September. We eagerly look forward to sharing the experiences of both hosts and guest.

The exhibition

You can see a visualisation of our project in the exhibition «After Belonging: In Residence», showing in The National Museum – Architecture from 8 September–27. November 2016. Read more about the exhibition here.

Goals

Through the concepts bnbOPEN, OPENhouse and OPENhousing we explore the potential for a more open society, challenging the story of «us» and «them». We will maintain our efforts to this end beyond the scope and time frame of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016.