"Project Ålidhem" Ingo Vetter and Peter Lundström

"I like Umeå and Umeå likes me" Lasse Sahlin

"An Important Part of our Education" Students’ Foreword

Ylva Trapp

Frida Krohn
Therese Johansson
Lars Hedelin
Frida Krohn, Ylva Trapp
och Lina Palmqvist

Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy

Per-Arne Sträng
Martina Wolgast
Mariel Rosendahl
Nils-Johan Sjöquist


"The History of Ålidhem" Hans Åkerlind
"My own private Ålidhem" Maria Bjurestam
"Functional Sculpturer" Ingo Vetter

Presentation of Participants


Ylva Trapp

Every district should have its own book.

The first thing I knew was that there would be a book. A book is an excellent form of public art. It is accessible, it can be borrowed from the library and is cheap to buy at a kiosk. But a book is also personal: it’s yours, you leaf through its pages whenever you wish. I knew I would do a book and that the book would be about Ålidhem – but there are so many ways to tell about a district.

Ålidhem can seem uniform and anonymous. When I was new to the district I had a difficult time finding my way home. Brick everywhere. I wandered around, always landing in the same parking place. But I knew that uniformity was only surface; on the inside all the dwellings are different. People’s homes are homey.

Ålidhem has often been described from the outside. When we looked for information on the district we found statistics, architect’s plans and programmes for municipal measures. Many had more or less succeeded in considering how people in Ålidhem should live. However, what I missed was something from someone living there, a resident of Ålidhem.

I grew up in an area completely different from Ålidhem. A light and airy flat from the beginning of the 20th century, located in the centre of Uppsala, is perceived totally differently from a rental flat in a brick building built in 1968. But why is turn-of-the-century history and architecture better than that of the 1970s?

The Million Dwelling Programme has been severely criticized, but many many people have these housing areas as their home. That certain types of architecture are considered better or more beautiful than others is very much about fashion and power. In time the 1970s will be sufficiently distant to make the Million Dwelling Programme picturesque.

Ålidhem is a well-planned district. Playgrounds lie far away from cars, shops are close by and the sun shines on the top floors even in the winter. Yet, as my supervisor once said, regardless of all the organizing and planning, “people live poetically”. I searched for that poetry. I searched for how people who lived in Ålidhem have influenced the Plan.

One thing I found was crooked footpaths. The pedestrian pathways were planned in squares, but people cut across the grass. In the end these shortcuts were paved with stones. I tried to find history and myths about Ålidhem. There are constructed mounds that resemble the Viking graves in Old Uppsala, but here they are filled with relics from the construction of the brick buildings in the 70s. I thought of going to visit the homes of lots of people who lived in Ålidhem and asking them if they felt at home there. I thought of sketching their favourite places. I thought of comparing how differently people related to similar flats. I thought of so much – I thought of at least 20 different books.



In the end I started to draw. At home, in my own flat. My home is also Ålidhem.

Drawing takes time. To make this book I have looked very carefully at things that are usually seen out of the corner of the eye. I have stared at the patterns that usually lie in the background in order to understand how they actually look. Things we see and relate to without really noticing them - but the pattern formed by the stones in my stairs I know very well. Who has stared at that pattern before me? Who has opened my kitchen cupboards before?

Each picture in the book is a peep-hole into Ålidhem, a little bit of the district extracted into the book. It is a fragmentary map on the scale 1:1. It’s not possible to find a correct address using my map, but you can orient yourself amongst the threads in a certain carpet. All the drawings are done on site, reflecting the subject’s natural dimensions. They are collected in the staircases and laundry rooms, in my own flat, at Kerstin’s, Anna’s, Helena and Jessica’s, at Tage and Dolan’s, Simon and Lisa’s. Thanks to everyone who let me come into their home and stare!

Somebody said when he saw my pictures that they were like memories – exact but with the small distortions and differences that an interpretation gives to reality. A drawing adds a new layer to reality.

I wanted to do a book and now it’s here, in a thousand copies. It feels good that Ålidhem now has its own book. Every district should have a book.

The book can be ordered from