The Giant Dolls’ House Project

Wel­come to the Giant Doll’s House

We are inter­est­ed in doing phys­i­cal instal­la­tion, if you are inter­est­ed in work­ing with us, please con­tact us. The project is run by Cat­ja de Haas Archi­tects.

Togeth­er, We Care: Col­lab­o­rate With Oxfam, Refugee Week and the Lon­don Fes­ti­val of Archi­tec­ture 2021.

Thank you so much to those that con­tributed and fol­lowed us through­out the build up of the sec­ond Vir­tu­al Dolls’ House project.

View the book­let and all of the amaz­ing box­es and sto­ries. View the movie.

1606 Final I Nstallation Togetherwecare LR
VGH21 06 Lidwien BL

It has been a tough year, these past 12 months. How small the world has become, although we are lucky to be able to reach out and speak to fam­i­ly and friends far-away. There are so many peo­ple fac­ing this pan­dem­ic in much more dire sit­u­a­tions. And let’s face it, Covid 19 is not the only prob­lem in the world. This is a box filled with my Covid-quar­an­tine life. You can see a draw­ing of my hus­band, I am real­ly miss­ing him, as he is now liv­ing and work­ing in Chi­na. I includ­ed a pho­to of my moth­er in law, who passed away in Jan­u­ary. So dif­fi­cult to say farewell with­out my hus­band and our son. My son is drawn stand­ing with his girl­friend under the US flag. We are look­ing for­ward to meet­ing his girl­friend in real life The car in the dolls house is to sym­bol­ize that I have been dri­ving more than usu­al, to pick up and drop off our daugh­ter (also a drawn por­trait of her) in Utrecht, where she stud­ies. I have been dri­ving to the south of the Nether­lands, to vis­it my moth­er in law as often as pos­si­ble in the last months of her life. Our youngest daugh­ter has been stuck home with me and our dog. Some­times our oth­er daugh­ter will stay for a day or longer. I cher­ish the time we spend togeth­er too. Real­iz­ing this might not hap­pen again for such long peri­ods, to have ones adult chil­dren back home. We do cre­ative projects, some­times togeth­er. I try to read or puz­zle and not binge watch too much TV. Hav­ing a dog has been bet­ter than it already was, one of us is allowed out after cur­few to walk the dog. “- Lidwien

VGH21 07 Saskia BL

The last year I’ve been focussing on all the tur­moil that human­i­ty is fac­ing right now. I’ve noticed that I’ve focussed on all the neg­a­tive aspects of the past year rather than look­ing for the pos­i­tives. I’ve found that being sur­round­ed by my loved ones helps com­fort me and helps me real­ize that the world is not whole­ly bad.” — Saskia

Jakub BL

This dolls house depicts my own Stu­dent accom­mo­da­tion, its a repli­ca of a room with my own colour­ful twist which intends to show how these rooms can be improved to help stu­dents with accli­ma­tion. Colour is such an impor­tant aspect of every­one’s lives, and it has a huge impact on per­spec­tive and mood and so this project shows how Imple­ment­ing colour can help with men­tal health.” ‑Jakub

V2 GDH21 04 Loraine BL

I feel lucky to have had my art to get me through the lock­down. My day usu­al­ly starts with a walk on the local mead­ows… There is new life spring­ing up every­where — the wild gar­lic patch, which we col­lect­ed from to make soup has just start­ed to appear — remind­ing me, it is over a year since the pan­dem­ic hap­pened. As I look down in the pond, I can see new life, the frogspawn has appeared. Feed­ing the swans, ducks, and geese has been uplift­ing and fun­ny at times, watch­ing the hier­ar­chy with­in the groups. As soon as I get home, I start work­ing on my art. I have start­ed work­ing from my front room win­dow — I was a lit­tle shy at first, but I have found it to be real­ly nice. I have a lit­tle fan base, who wave to me as they go past my house. The post­man has become very inter­est­ed in my art, and we have now become firm friends. I have real­ly enjoyed my days in lock­down, just mak­ing the most of what we have around us. How­ev­er, I feel sad that oth­ers haven’t got the same priv­i­leges or resources, and I do won­der how we can help the home­less in the future… A Man­ches­ter-based char­i­ty Embassy’ has plans to make a com­mu­ni­ty for home­less peo­ple — repur­pos­ing ship­ping con­tain­ers. I think this is a won­der­ful idea, which I think is a step in the right direc­tion. I am real­ly look­ing for­ward to see­ing it com­plet­ed, and it giv­ing hope and a new future for the home­less.” ‑Lor­raine

Untitled 1 0012 unnamed 4

I’m a Dam­as­cus-based archi­tect, and art is my life. I love pho­tog­ra­phy, paint­ing, crafts, and music.
With my cam­era, I trap the details and moments I wish to immor­tal­ize. My pho­tos are some­times sim­ple, but they cap­ture sto­ries and intense emo­tions.
I have there­fore cre­at­ed Weirdie, through whom I com­bined my love for crafts, pho­tog­ra­phy, and self-expres­sion. Through the day-to-day details of Weirdie’s life, I express myself and savor the things and notions I hold dear. He also res­onates with many peo­ple although he doesn’t feel like he fits in with the world around him. He has a small num­ber of friends, he is com­fort­able in his own skin, and he spend his time doing the things he loves. He wouldn’t waste a moment on any­thing that doesn’t feel right or doesn’t feel like him.
When I first start­ed cap­tur­ing Weirdie’s life, I intro­duced peo­ple to his char­ac­ter, hob­bies, and inter­ests. He plays the oud, reads, goes for long walks in Dam­as­cus, and does many oth­er things. I then decid­ed to build his first house. It was very sim­ple but the per­fect fit for his char­ac­ter. I shared the details of his life for almost two years before his life expand­ed and he need­ed a big­ger house, so I built him a Dam­as­cus-inspired home full of the cul­tur­al details he loves. I also cap­ture the moments in his life that reflect my deep­est silent emo­tions.
After about a year of mov­ing into his new home, Weirdie want­ed to pur­sue a new hob­by and turn it into a pro­fes­sion, so I built him a tan­nour bak­ery next to his house. Now the details of his life have expand­ed to this bak­ery.” ‑Eman Tello

VGDH21 11 Anan BL

 My Syr­i­an Room’ work­shop in Leeds pro­vid­ed a plat­form for a group of Syr­i­an ladies from dif­fer­ent back­grounds to express them­selves through art and share sto­ries to form strong bonds and com­mu­ni­cate to the world the bright side of our beau­ti­ful coun­try, Syr­ia, the cra­dle of civ­i­liza­tion.” ‑Anan Tello

260620 VGDH Installation BLK

The Alone Togeth­er instal­la­tion, in sol­i­dar­i­ty with 70 mil­lion refugees, explored our sense of home and com­mu­ni­ty dur­ing the Covid lock down. Please browse through the book­let that lists the sub­mit­ted dolls’ hous­es with descrip­tions. Many thanks to all the participants.

The Giant Dolls’ House Project + Oxfam instal­la­tion was part of Lon­don Fes­ti­val of Archi­tec­ture 2020 and Refugee Week