Income Sharing
1978 - Present

1 Mirror Hall 2 Kitchen + Dining 3 Common Area 4 Smaller apartments  5 Group Apartment

If Denmark is the happiest country in the world, then Svanholm (Swan Island), makes a claim to being the happiest place in Denmark. Founded in 1978, the pragmatic paradise of 85 adults and 56 children rejects formal leadership and ideological “-isms.” The self-governing, income sharing collective - in Danish, Kommune means both commune and community - makes decisions through consensus, leading to long conversations and negotiations during the common meeting.

Svanholm is 990 acres of farm and forest, and produces more than half of the community’s food through organic farming, permaculture, and agroforestry. Two wind turbines installed in the late eighties provide most of the community’s power, and residents have one third of the CO2 footprint of an average Dane.

Svanholm occupies a country manor, built in 1744, and a number of new-built dormitories and apartments. Eleven adults, twelve children, and two cats live in the main hall. The main building also contains the Mirror Hall (1) for group meetings, a hall for movies and meetups (3), smaller apartments (4), a group apartment (5) for seven residents that share a kitchen, bathroom, and living area. The majority of families live in new apartments with their own kitchen with the rule being one room per person.

Nam semper semper ex
In porttitor pellentesque sapien

Annie Schneider

Communes in the New World

The question of how to live together—of how best to live together—is the foundation of any society. The last few years have exposed the fault lines in our current system: climatic catastrophe, economic crisis, supply chain collapse, civil unrest, rampant inequality, and a global pandemic. We live in congested cities and in potentially dangerous proximity, yet remain isolated. In light of these mounting pressures, it’s time to revisit the fundamentals. How to Live Together offers alternative ways of being, thinking, dwelling, and living. It calls into question every basic assumption and prevailing social norm: belief, sex, the nuclear family, property ownership, our relationship to land, production, and consumption. It is both a critique and a roadmap.