Re-tracing Home

Vienna Design Week

Re-tracing HOME N° 2 was a participatory „work in progress“ research project at VIENNA DESIGN WEEK 2017 consisting of guided city walks, drawing and writing workshops and correlated building workshops with a conclusive installation on the notion of „home“.

Can you transform an empty room into a new „home“ in 10 days?

This project could also be called „The more consciousss you are, the less space you need“ or „all spaces are transistory“. Home seems to be „kein Ort. Es ist mehr eine Situation mit Menschen wo man sich wohl fühlt und weiß, dass man immer wieder kommen kann“. It is not a „realer Raum“ but intended to be „für mich“.

It was also mentioned that you can call a place home much faster than the German term “Heimat” implies. There does not seem to be an adequate translation in any other language which might define this sense of belonging.

We exposed ourselves to this dilemma of translation – linguistically and spatially – to question what “Heimat” or “at home” can mean from different perspectives and backgrounds. This was always a processual and open-ended (self-)experiment where the active presence of all partners and participants left their traces. Therefore, home can be perceived as performed identity.

Feeling at home” is a multifaceted snapshot which one can probably only sense in its fragments. That’s why our installation showcased spatial metaphors which brings together individual aspects of an “ideal home” from different countries and cultures. The question of common denominators shall be rather discussed than diverging comfort zones.

The Installation consisting of a bed (privacy), a niche (comfort), a table (community), a plant and cat toilet (responsibility) as well as a Wi-fi and mobile charging station (network) and window (connectivity) was not meant to give answers to the contemporary housing question. In context of the so-called “refugee crisis” we aimed to give associative thought-provoking impulses which do not offer architectural “solutions” but rather question the meaning of basic spatial fragments that might create an “ideal” home.

What is the role of architects and designers in the course of this?

Can you actually translate notions of home into architecture?

Thereby, it has to be underlined that all involved parties from refugees to long-established locals are asked to be part of the knowledge co-production of a common home in the future (transformation). This can often just be a „very minimal room and a very peaceful home”.

Have a look at our conclusive publication here!


  • Anja Fritz
  • Tobias Hattendorf
  • Benedikt Stoll

special thanks to

  • Monika Jedrysiak