read::zebra's

Sweden’s Creators Inn takes a new approach to hospitality

In Excerpts, Thoughts on April 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

Created by Swedish clothing brand Elvine and now-extinct creative agency Next Century Modern (whose website is now an odd, mustard-yellow, self-scrolling list of credits) Creators Inn allows its guests to stay for free—as long as they’re a working creative. Attn: writers, artists, designers, poets, sculptors—if you’re in Gothenburg, Sweden, your payment is simply a ‘valid reason’ to stay at the inn.

According to the hoteliers,

“A valid reason is some sort of creative activity, preferably together with local creators or something that incorporates the city in some way.”

It’s a cool way to support artists in their research, especially those not lucky enough to land a MacArthur Fellowship or other such grants. It also makes you wonder about other spaces or businesses that might be reserved for various professionals. Will there be free hotels for architects visiting the construction site of a foreign project? Will there be food trucks that cater only to visiting sports teams or bands or bicyclists?

With Creators Inn, the idea was also to encourage hospitality:

“By offering visiting creators free accommodation, we hope to remind people of a lovely little thing called hospitality. And in addition to making the visiting creators happy and Gothenburg a more interesting city because of their presence, we hope this simple idea can be exported and implemented around the globe.”

They’re also honest, however, about the idea evolving out of necessity.

“Creators Inn is ever changing. The project is continuously improved and changes over time, due to new ideas, complaints or wishes from ourselves, our guests and you, the homepage visitors.”

That includes locations. At one time, it had three open—two in Gothenburg, one of which was only open through 2008, and one in Stockholm, which closed in December 2009. Despite this, it’s refreshing to see the concept working. The website features blog posts from and Q&As with the visiting creatives that are great reads, especially when you realize that these people aren’t just kids with a few canvases tucked into their backpacks. Guests have included the likes of Magnus Larsson, who stayed at the inn while in town to give a TED talk on architecture, and freelance journalist and film lecturer Anna Battista.

::

All interior photos by Jonas Mosesson; exterior courtesy of Scandic Malmen; Gothenburg skyline by Magnus Petersson.

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