Howdy/Hej-hva så?, a pioneering intentional community with a population of 3, was officially founded on Friday October 11, 2013. The values of Howdy/Hej-hva så? include generosity, social happiness, and resourceful making. There is an official flag, official tattoos, and an official color (yellow, to signify happiness and a new dawn).
MAKETANK (originally an American collective) arrived in Copenhagen in September, 2013 and was impressed by the innovative models for residential living. They first lived in a boat community on Skibbroen and next in the autonomous Freetown Christiania. To really understand the complexity of intentional communities, they started their own.
The founding of Howdy/Hej-hva så? was marked by a cargo bike assisted migration from Christiania to Værelse 101 (a project space in downtown Copenhagen, Denmark).
Preparing for life as Howdy/Hej-hva så? required resourcefulness and dedication. All of the community's garments were made from second-hand, yellow, materials and sewn on borrowed sewing machines. The tiny residence in Christiania became a hive of activity.
The place Howdy/HEJ-hva så calls home
The project space, Værelse101, was small (only 10.5 square meters) and it lacked running water, a toilet, and heat. It is also part of a cooperatively owned apartment building and the board of directors did not approve of Howdy/Hej-hva så? founders squatting in the space.
The Howdy/HEJ-hva så? culture was constructed from zero, so the citizens of Howdy/HEJ-hva så? Held an opening convocation on their founding day, in conjunction with Copenhagen's popular CULTURE NIGHT, to ask visitors to help them develop a set of community traditions, social organization systems, and unique attributes (including crafts, art, music, rituals, food and drink, and of course a system for law and order).
"Is that a real baby?"
Over 50 people came to welcome Howdy/Hej-hva så? and offer ideas for the developing culture. Rye, the youngest member of Howdy/Hej-hva så?, slept through most of the community's open house and through the night. The busy neighborhood of Vesterbro also calmed down.
Visitors to the open house contributed inspiring values for Howdy/Hej-hva så? to incorporate into its charter. Currency that loses value unless spent, respect for the ideas of children, "Vaerelse 101 was originally to be...this! A room for artists in need.", culturally unique architecture, people should live in harmony and peace, open and changeable system for law and order.
Morning brought new realities to Howdy/Hej-hva så?. How would the community share its values throughout Copenhagen? Would others want to join?
Daily life for Howdy/Hej-hva så? community members was a pleasure. Time with friends, long bike rides across town, dining out (the living space had no kitchen), time at the playground (cool designs! - would never pass code in the U.S.) and more allowed for lots of interaction with the local community.
Howdy/Hej-hva så? residents had to move out due to flooding. What a strange design - subterranean space where water runs down steps, and under the door into a small (3 gallons max.) space covered by a grate.Once the grate fills with water, the rest of the space does too. Luckily we were with friends when the flooding began.