Millions of people live in institutional residences that differ significantly from their homes. This article looks closely into the quality of these habitations and points out some critical characteristics based on a research project called CoWell. One salient question circles around the concept of homeyness, which in many countries is the main objective to realize in institutional living. Some kind of artification is implemented and is seen as a means for achieving a homey atmosphere and of stimulating the inhabitants and the staff. However, very little research has been done on homeyness. Cleanliness, permanence, and randomness are often recognizable in institutional living. These three features create a special quality and they affect artification. However, the question of who should make decisions concerning artification is not dealt with in official reports and research literature. The conception of artification as a process would support measures to improve the milieu and help to meet the many divergent interests the habitat should fulfill.

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