ARKITEKT MICHAEL DONALDS LTD.
Michael Donalds, architect, member of SAFA – Finland´s Architects Association:
I run a little architect company on a little island in the Baltic Sea. Every day I drive to my office to work together with my colleagues, who just like me are migrants. Sometimes I ponder about matters that have repeatedly come up in our discussions: We should always remember the importance of thinking positively. What would the people of Palermo think of the local custom of choosing to live alone in the woods? Why do many restaurant-owners in Rwanda’s beautiful, hilly capital Kigali, choose to build walls hiding the views? – More than once I have been taken aback by how our differing backgrounds are revealed and how this can sometimes help me see things in a new way.
NIPÅ, Nordiska Institutet på Åland
Jacob Mangwana Haagendal, direktor
I work as a director at NIPÅ, the smallest of the five Nordic cultural institutions.
We´ve created Welcome Home in cooperation with the Multicultural Association of Åland. It tells the stories of Ålanders coming from different parts of the world and why they´ve chosen to settle here on this small, idyllic and protected island. When we did the exhibition, back in 2013, it was a great experience, creating a home far from one’s native country and one’s own culture. Today, more than 2 years after we created the first exhibition, the theme is more topical than ever. This exhibition is not just a story about immigrating but very much about how we build a meaningful life and having the possibility to create a home far away from home.
Michael Donalds brilliant snailhouse idea combined with Welcome Home exhibition and our book tells a bright and modern story about how important it is to be in charge of your own present and future and to participate in your own life. In my opinion, Snailhouse Welcome Home is a reflection on how to address the essential challenges we face in our modern world today.
Pernilla Weckman, CEO
It was a clear decision for us to become part of The Snailhouse Team and assist with our expertise as a partner, thus having the honor to exhibit at the Biennale in Venice. Architect Michael Donalds´s idea has inspired us and got our creativity flowing through the entire agency. Energy is created and roads meet.
Jeremic Slavoljub, photographer and filmmaker
We all feel the need sometimes to relax from the stress in our hectic everyday lives, but for some reason we can´t manage to do it properly. When my family and I moved to Åland we were searching for a peaceful and quiet place, and it was exactly what we found. Travelling through the beautiful countryside helped me to get in touch with nature again, and to find the peace I was seeking.
Ålands landscape has inspired me to make this simple film that shows the beauty and tranquility that is around us, and which we so often take for granted. I hope that my work will encourage people to stop for a moment and enjoy the moments of beauty and peace that Åland has to offer.