By Åsa Andersson-Broms och Karin Hansson
A half razed, half built-up castle, made of blocks of bright colors,
is on the floor at the exhibition. The blocks represent Swedens
whole population and the colors symbolize different life-style groups.
The visitors themselves can build the castle from these demographic
statistics. If everyone helps one another, it can perhaps finally be
This Is Where We Come from
Gasoline and iron stoves: Here, values such as traditionalism,
individualism, and materialism dominate. The interest in saving energy
is just as great as the interest in dogs, cats, cars, and carpentry,
along with fishing and camping. There are plenty of cordless telephones,
motorboats, outboards, rowboats, video games, and kitchen appliances.
[---] Here we find the countrys highest possession of iron stoves.
Transport cart, trailer homes, and snowmobiles are also popular. One
reads the evening paper occasionally, while the big city morning papers
are read very seldom indeed. The local morning papers have a pretty
This Is Where Weve Ended up
The pulse of the big city: The regions are characterized by the
presence of many globally minded people, inclined towards change. These
people are extremely interested in the culture and foreign policy of
other countries. In addition, they like to go to concerts, theater,
to listen to classical music, as well as go out to pubs and restaurants.
Activities such as extreme sports, riding, sailing, and snowboarding
and slalom are also very popular. On the other hand, these cosmopolitans
are not at all interested in cars, child care or their illnesses. They
read the big city press zealously.(2)
A Classification of Sweden’s Inhabitants
Such are the rungs of our social ladder, according to the MOSAIC system(3),
which has the entirety of Swedens population classified and searchable
down to the level of the household and the postal code. MOSAIC is an
immensely valuable resource for those who will survey their target group,
be it in order to sell sausages or to sell an ideology. Every citizen
is a potential consumer. The system brings into sharp relief what we
are, what we want, and what we do. The key to SIM-city. A dream tool
for the architecture of society. Tell me your postal code and Ill
tell you who you are! Tell me your postal code and Ill tell you
which political party agrees with your values and best looks after your
The public opinion
It is representatives from these life-style groups who are questioned
when opinion-polls are done. They are the people. The public
opinion drives the careful production plans of jam manufactures just
as much as the campaigns of political parties.
Jam manufacturers no longer need to sell the finest jam. The parties
no longer need to foist their ideology on us. Instead, we can all be
given individualized solutions based on our typical profile. Tell me
what you want and we will make it our policy! The flexible jam for all
occasions, now in thirty-four different flavors!
Thirty-four flavors for thirty-four life-style types. In The Castle
we have divided the life-style groups into nine main groups.(4) They
are represented by nine colors
Purple block: Well-educated big city inhabitant
Red block: Low- and middle-income employed person
Beige block: Retiree
Orange block: poorly educated from smaller municipalities
Yellow block: Younger, low-income worker
Blue block: Well-to-do house-owner
Turquoise block: Living in a row house or single-family house
Pink block: Middle-income employed person in a region with single-family
Green block: Countryside
A Castle Made of 8900 Blocks
Each block represents 1000 individuals. In total there are 8,900 blocks.
35,077 individuals are, according to the statistics, approximately like
us. They have received their own block, which is black.
Together, we shall build the castle using all the blocks. The work will
take place during the course of the exhibition, and will be done by
anyone who wants to play social planer.
An authentic castle with towers and pinnacles and a moat. Or rather,
if one thinks about it, a whole city with surrounding countryside. Once
youve arrived, theres no going back.
1. http://www.marknadsanalys.se/index.asp?page=livsstil, 2002-08-06,
postnummer [postal codes] 865 51 and 781 95.
2. http://www.marknadsanalys.se/index.asp?page=livsstil, 2002-08-06,
postnummer [postal codes] 121 31 and 112 28.
3. The bases for the selection tool, ODR Mosaic, is a geodemographic
classification of Swedens population. Geodemographics is the division
of target populations on the basis of geographical regions and statistical
facts. People who live in a particular region tend to be similar to
one another in essential respects; at the same time, they can be clearly
distinguished from people who live in other regions. The company, MarknadsAnalys
AB, has, with the help of Statistics Sweden (Statistiska Centralbyrån
SCB), divided Sweden into small geographic regions, so-called
Mosaic-regions. The smallest geographical regions are 250 x 250 meters.
There are 68,000 Mosaic-regions where, on average, there are fifty households.
Statistical information has then been obtained from SCB, The Registry
of Realty, The Registry of Motor Vehicles, and Bonniers financial
information fact book. A grouping of all Mosaic-regions has been created
based on the most important statistical criteria. The thirty-four life-style
types which resulted were then fleshed out with information from investigations
such as Orvesto Konsument [Orvesto Consumer] and Konsument Monitorn
[The Consumer Monitor] which includes peoples interests, their
real estate and other holdings, and their consumption of media. Posten,
4. The division comes from The Swedish Postal Services Web site,
http://188.8.131.52/opener.asp; note that the original division is
based on households, which we converted to individuals. 2002-08-06.