Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Swedish University Re-Thinks the Dorm

Lund, Sweden is experimenting with replacing its traditional student apartments with self-contained 12 sq meter (129 sq ft) micro-houses. AF Bostäder (AFB), who is behind the project, told The Local that the dwellings would have a distinct economic edge, renting “for 2500 kronor ($370) a month, compared to the average newly built student apartment in Lund which is rented for 4167” ($628).

The tiny houses have everything a student could need: A kitchenette, sleeping loft, bathroom and desk; and somehow it has that swank Swedish sheen that masks any motivations to achieve greater thrift.

The project is still an experiment though. In fact, the house doesn’t adhere to strict Swedish building regulation–the same regulation that AFB claims makes traditional student housing so expensive. The house received a three year permit to see how it works out.

AFB is taking applications for a student who is willing to live and blog about living in the apartment, and prove (or disprove) that this is a viable alternative to the status quo.

The house looks great and seems to have all the amenities a student requires. We do wonder about the social aspect of individuated housing. At least in America, the most important location for campus socialization is the dorm; it’s where many relationships are forged and ideas exchanged. We wonder how being separate from other students would affect that? That said, burdensome housing expenses can make people antisocial as well. What do you think?  Would you give up your dorm experience to save a few hundred bucks a month?

Photos by Jan Nordén

Via Dornob

  • David

    Very cool! What if students learned how to build their own.

    • What a tremendous learning tool if they could build their own. I have a college freshman who would benefit greatly from this type of learning.

    • laurel

      what a great idea!

  • laurel

    Wonder if the plans are available

  • David

    My 11 year old wants to build one now.

    • Alexander López

      There are two teenagers who already built their own small home: Sicily Kolbeck (read her blog http://tinymaison.blogspot.com) and Austin Hay (see his home in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMRJ9lwzCaM). It’s inspiring to see these kids speaking about their work, and seeing how mature they have become. To realize they have their own home before finishing high school gives hope to all of us.

  • Marrena

    I’m a greenie so I think this is a bad idea. It’s one thing to have small houses instead of big houses–it’s another to have small houses instead of big dorm buildings. This is a waste of heating energy, a waste of building materials and it looks disposable. Especially in Sweden’s harsh climate, the emphasis should be on sustainable, easily heated, green buildings.

  • Learning to share habitable spaces started at university for me when all my older friends moved into studio apartments for one.

    If you teach students, right about the time they start learning the real value of money, to isolate themselves and not share resources, it becomes a selfish lifelong habit. Generalisation for sure, but there’s a case for it.