The Giant Dolls’ House Project

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Welcome to the Giant Dolls’ House Project: a social arts project that engages participants in thinking about their home and environment through making a dolls’ house in a shoebox. The project raises awareness for homelessness and refugees and makes people aware of the importance of a home and community for all and aims to foster dialogue.

There are still spaces for the story evening on June 18th from 6.30 pm onwards. Book Here

Come and visit the community of dolls’ houses at the EH Smith design centre in London. between 17 – 22 of June, with the theme: Reimagine your neighbours.”

We all have neighbours — some nearby, others further away. Neighbours can be friendly or
annoying, but more often than not, they help each other out in times of need. In this installation, participants imagine we are all good neighbours to each other, including those who live far away and need our support. We know that we are all different and don’t need to agree on everything, but when needed, we are there for each other.
Students from OM Beketov National University of Urban Economy in Kharkiv have made dolls’ houses in a shoebox in a virtual workshop, and we asked them what they want to tell the people in London about themselves, as their lives and neighbours have changed profoundly the past two years. Their stories are hardbreaking but it’s important we hear them.
The results of the online workshop and the virtual dolls’ houses will be on display, as well as a dolls’ house installation with dolls’ houses made by students, children, and architects from the UK.

Would you also like to participate and make a dolls’house in a shoebox? Bring it to EH Smith by June 17th. Please contact us and we will send you the details.

You can also Send your house following these instructions.

Submitted Dolls’ Houses

Icecream

With this layout, I want to tell about the everyday life of Ukrainians through my story. I remember chatting with my mom in the kitchen and eating ice cream. It was tasty, but then the ice cream ended up on the floor, and tears welled up in my eyes. My mom and I both panicked and fell to the floor, not because of the ice cream. A military plane flew over the house, and the sound of its engine sliced through the silence like a knife. We lifted our heads and met each other’s gaze, filled with fear and confusion. The world seemed unreal, as if we were being watched on TV, and someone was mocking our helplessness. Every day we felt like our lives had become a cruel reality show, where we were just helpless actors who could die at any moment, without even getting a chance to say goodbye… I miss that ice cream because it was a little ray of light that brought some joy during the days and nights of explosions. But even that was taken away by the Russians… (Liza, OM Beketov National University Kharkiv). 

Kharkiv 01

Since the beginning of the war, the life of every person has undergone changes. My world, as it seemed to me then, was divided into two parts. One part remained above ground. There the sun was shining, it was raining, people were leaving the city and coming back again. Until the siren was heard, it seemed that the world had not lost its colors at all and all the bad things were left behind. But this is a deception. It has become dangerous here, and if you forget about it, you risk paying with your life for your carelessness. The second part turned out to be completely different. Underground, time seems to stop and you are left alone with your anxieties, thoughts and doubts. Here you feel detached from the world above, and it is very frightening. But this place turns out to be a salvation. The surrounding walls are oppressive, but will also protect in case of danger. Someday the world above will return to order, and we will all be a part of it. But while explosions are heard outside the window, my thoughts involuntarily return underground again, to the place where my fears remain. (Anastasia 18, OM Beketov National University Kharkiv)

Parents and Children

This is a bit stark looking, but it’s representing being a child as an adult, looking in at your elderly parents in isolation… I’m quite enjoying lock-down and all the possibilities it throws up, things that you actually have the time to do- but I haven’t seen my mum for nearly 3 months- and she can’t use a computer! I put my Dad in there too, even though he died 3 years ago- I’d love to see them both face to face. When I last saw my mum, she looked like a doll at her window.. We’re all well though, and it’ll be great to enter the dolls house when we surface. Me looking in on them emphasises how roles shift as we get older.

Caroline