THE MONOPOLY PROJECT
My final project in Forsbergs school of graphic design: a political Monopoly (in the shape of a poster and wallpainting) telling my own story in Stockholm's housing market.
I won Grafiska Företagens Förbund's award for best final project of Stockholm's design schools (Konstfack, Berghs, Beckmans and Forsbergs) in 2010.
On this board, I changed the regular Monopoly Stockholm streets for the addresses where I lived in Stockholm during the course of a few years. I lived on all the addresses displayed on this board, around 20 different ones. The person in the middle is me, moving my sewing machine and plants on the subway for the umpteenth time.
I moved so often because I rented other peoples' apartments, and usually the contracts were just a few months long. I didn't have the money to buy my own apartment, and the number of rental apartments were rapidly decreasing due to privatization. Quite a few people took advantage of the situation, offering to sublet wardrobes in suburbs for ridiculous prices or rooms that looked like storage rooms with furniture piled on top of each other.
Instead of Chance cards, there are Chock cards, with messages like "the landlord calls and says you have to move out in two weeks".
The Street cards tell some facts about the different places that I rented: the amount of rent money, whether it was a legal rental (it wasn't) and how long time I was allowed to stay. All of the info on this poster is true and based on my own experience.
The giant dice that I made for the exhibition (see picture below) symbolize the chance, randomness and uncertainty that played a big part in the enterprise of finding a good place to live in Stockholm.
I was inspired to create this personal-perspective Monopoly as a way of dealing with my frustration with the rules of the housing market game in the city, which were like the law of the jungle.
At first, the idea was to make an actual board game, but as I was working on the project it became clear that the driving force behind a regular Monopoly game was very different from the message that I wanted to convey. In my case, I didn't have the kind of money that Mr. Monopoly has. That kind of money was exactly what was missing in my own and many others' reality, and that was my whole point: this housing game isn't working. People without tons of money also need housing. It shouldn't be something that some people buy and sell in order to get richer, it should simply fit peoples' needs for actual housing.
I still have posters left – email me if you are interested in buying one. Size 50x70cm.