• Von: Julia Kemmerling
  • Studiengang: Kommunikationsdesign, 6. Semester
  • Kurs: Immersives Informationsdesign (Daria Jelonek)


We migrate to the cities in masses, searching for work, opportunities, and connections to culture and possibly social life.

Then, at the end of the day, most of us step back into a shoebox-sized living quarter, which, in the best case, we call home. Surrounded by hundreds of other people following their own path in life, going on sternly.

These boxes we call home have thin walls. We can hear our neighbours singing when they consider themselves alone, get annoyed by angry footsteps, and wonder about the strange person from down the hallway we never actually met. Because most of them we haven’t met.

There appears to be no better place to be lonely than when surrounded by thousands of people. It’s when we are faced with the reality of how singular and limited our perception of reality is.

When we can feel the pace of the world and have to come to terms with the fact that one is nowhere as anonymous as when surrounded by countless other pairs of eyes.

Whether getting lost in the crowd feels liberating or devastating depends. There is no place where this balance is experienced stronger than in one’s own apartment, where isolation and overwhelming numbers of people collide and manifest in massive concrete structures.

That is why this project presents itself in the form of a cardboard apartment complex, a monument to the shoeboxes we call our homes. While the observer can never become more than an outsider looking inside, dependent on the switch of the light, they can listen to the stories of the people and their thoughts on these living arrangements.

The stories housed in this particular apartment are no word-for-word quotes, but they are no fiction either. They are condensed and retold stories of actual people from different parts of the world, who experienced living in the most densely packed places to exist.

As a result, this project is neither a critique nor an endorsement. It’s a fragment of what living in a concrete box can feel like and do to the mind. For some, it appears to be an ideal way of life, and for some a way to lose themselves. Mostly the truth lies somewhere in the middle.