N55 are artists who design and build humorous but functional tools meant for a utopian way of life.
Lesson / Koan : Sharing has always been free.
N55 is a Copenhagen-based Scandinavian art collective which was founded in 1994. The name refers to an address in the Danish capital, Nørre Farimagsgade 55.
All of N55’s work product is freely accessible; their books, manuals, manifestos and images can be seen online and are not copyrighted.
N55’s vision of a democratically organized collaborating body of self-reliant individuals is described in their writing and embodied in their designs. Most of their writing takes the form of manuals. From their website you can learn how to build either a “Microdwelling,”a “Modular Boat,” a “Small Fish Farm,” or how to create situations and relationships like “Room,” “Work,” and “Kommune.”
In the project they called Land, N55 began to acquire and dedicate small plots of land, from northern Norway to the Californian desert, in less sparsely populated places in Denmark, Holland and Switzerland, and in waste patches of cities such as Chicago, all to public use. On each is erected a steel polyhedral cairn by which the area is declared to belong to “the commons”. Anyone may use it as long as it is acknowledged that “Land gives access to land.” While N55 has not been subject to serious legal harassment, it has received favourable attention from those concerned to protect the public domain, and from those looking for workable and just alternatives to patents and copyright.
N55 do not claim that their manuals and designs solve pressing social and economic problems…But they believe that the very act of setting to work can empower a person and help change the way he or she sees the world.