Sigrun Thorgrimsdottir

Doctoral Student

Department of
Visiting address
Magasinsgatan 4
542 37 Mariestad
Postal address
Magasinsgatan 4
542 37 Mariestad

About Sigrun Thorgrimsdottir

Phd student at the Department of Conservation since October 2017. My research is part of the project Maintenance Matters: Exploring common contexts of heritage (e)valuation funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). Along with project leader, Ingrid Martins Holmberg and researcher Elena Bogdanova the aim is to explore enduring values and meanings found within common contexts of ‘maintenance and repair’ (craftsmanship; built heritage designation; homemakers engagement) in an urban setting. These contexts are considered as core heritage phenomena that enable for ‘the past’ to endure and remain in our contemporary modern world.

My part of the project is concerned with heritage in the context of everyday life. The aim is to analyze practices and concerns of homemakers choosing to live in and care for old houses from the perspective of critical heritage and crafts. I will explore alternate understandings of buildings-as-heritage in the Antropocene and how caretaking capacities and craftsmanship can be considered as heritage.

The main question focuses on homemakers active engagement in the production of their tomorrow by maintaining and restoring old houses. This will be looked at in terms of increasing environmental concerns embedded in everyday life, quite activism and interest in doing manual work. Craftsmanship as the skill of making things well entails a quest for quality, mindfulness and sustainability. Being a craftsman in everyday life, making a beautiful home, maintaining a house and minding a garden is in many cases aligned with ethical way of living and doing and not merely part of what has been called conspicuous consumption. The search for life in accordance with nature and tradition is embedded in the discourse of old house aesthetics and caretaking. With a focus on ethics relation to aesthetics I will explore how the aesthetical appreciation for craftsmanship, old houses, ‘pastness’ and quality can produce new perspective on larger issues and produce other ways of living and doing in the present and our tomorrow, generating lifestyles that make good use of the earth’s resources.

Background I did my BA and MA in ethnology at the University of Iceland with a special focus on material culture, the built environment and everyday life. In my MA thesis, entitled “The home is a slow event”, I explored the feeling of home in student housing in Reykjavík and the homemaking process as an ongoing event that involves the active engagement of many actors, human and non-human. Before coming to the Department of Conservation I was assistant teacher (2012-2016) and adjunct (2016-2017) at the Department of Ethnology, University of Iceland, guest lecturer at the Iceland Academy of Art, participated in various interdisciplinary projects concerned with housing development in Reykjavik, the recycling of household waste in everyday life and environmental consciousness in everyday activities and creating a digital archive collecting and mapping memories, stories and narratives of urban experiences from Reykjavik.