Design and (un)implementation

Nothing inspires me more than design that serves the underserved. So an article on Archinect (and link to CTV) caught my attention: students design living spaces for the homeless.

Unfortunately, the homeless will never get the chance to utilize these spaces. This is an example of a great design exercise that is faulty in terms of realistic execution

While it is commendable that the design is informed by interviews with the homeless and certain agencies, did the students have the similar foresight to identify what policy makers would agree to implement? (which of course is an uphill battle full of bureaucracy – but their choice of this programme necessitates such a dialogue).

In addition to designing the physical imprint/aesthetic, the designers must have a feasible plan that addresses the challenges of execution and lifespan

ie: Have they realistically thought about whether communities would welcome clusters of these structures? Especially if these living spaces are “temporary” – thus accelerating their rate of decline? What agency/committee is willing to front the initial set-up and subsequent maintenance costs during this economic recession?

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