Mia Åkerfelt (Åbo Akademi University)
Type-planning a Fenno-Swedish identity. The housing association for the Swedish speaking areas of Finland and the ideal rural home between 1938 and 1969
Better housing for the rural population was an important part of the Finnish housing discussion in the 20th century. Between 1938 and 1969, Bostadsföreningen för svenska Finland (The housing association for the Swedish speaking areas of Finland) promoted rational housing for the Fenno-Swedish minority. The construction of a collective identity for a minority through dwelling ideals is the main focus of the article. Methods as identity process theory and perspectives on architecture and nationalism are used to interpret the material. Specific questions relate to how modernist architecture became a symbol when constructing an identity for a non-homogeneous minority. The housing association wieved modernist housing as a solution to a political and ideological problem. With efficient homes, Fenno-Swedish farmers were less inclined to sell their homesteads to finnish speakers and move to the cities, where they were assimilated into the Finnish culture. Mobility was perceived as a threat to the minority, since it led to a loss of voters in areas of political importance. Modernist architecture combined with aesthetics from the vernacular building tradition were used to make the farmers proud of their ancestral homes, willing to stay, securing the ideological home of the fenno-swedes.