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  • Writer's pictureBritney Heerten

Homelessness and Architecture

Should designers take on the responsibility of helping cities with their homeless problems?

In what way should a designer help with the situation? There are solutions both helpful and harmful to a City's homeless population.

In Germany, a group of designers created sleeping pods that are temporarily available in the wintertime to provide the homeless with a place where they can sleep without risking hypothermia.

The State of California has a large homeless population and has decided to create tiny house communities to cut down on the amount of people sleeping on the streets. Not everyone agrees that tiny homes are a good enough solution to the problem, but others argue that this is one step in getting a person off the street and on a path to finding a home of their own. This is an alternative to group shelters for those who do not want to live in a group setting.

Some also argue that even with 1/3 of tiny house residents from these villages are

able to find permanent housing, we are still failing to find the other 2/3 homes because less focus is put on affordable housing than luxury housing.

In other cases, there are designers who are working against homelessness in the opposite way. They are creating anti-homeless sculptures and benches and even calling for spikes or bollards in areas where the homeless might take refuge, such as under awnings, bridges, or window sills. This type of architecture is also called hostile architecture.

Which method of design do you agree with?

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