Home(less)ness Studio: Dwelling in a desert city

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The Challenge

The Challenge: 

Addressing the issues of the built environment surrounding homeless shelters and spaces in Maricopa County.

The Approach

The Approach: 

Architecture students can participate in the studio in the fall semester of their third year as part of the multi-family residential portion of the program. Junior students will learn how to partner with local organizations to create humane spaces for people experiencing homelessness. The students learn how politics and policy affect architecture. They tour existing homeless shelters, and multi-family projects designed to house those who are either experiencing homelessness or who are formerly homeless. We partnered with the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions to learn about some of the statistics of our local homeless populations. We also partnered with local organizations that serve the homeless to create a final semester project based on a real project that the organization is undertaking. The students are then challenged to design a humane environment for those experiencing homelessness to shelter within based on our location. Based on real data and the project brief, the students choose the policies that they are implementing within their project, and from which they base their designs.

Findings and Impact

Findings and Impact: 

The Studio began Fall 2019, and will take place both in Fall 2020 and Fall 2021.

Areas of Impact

Areas of Impact: 
  • Equitable community development and creative placemaking
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Health and wellness
  • Public health or social determinants of health
  • Sustainability