Worlds of Homelessness (October 24, 2019)



After welcomes and opening statements by Erik Ghenoiu and Hernan Diaz Alsonso, Lien Heidenreich-Seleme describes “Worlds of homelessness” as a project of Goethe-Institut Los Angeles supporting interdisciplinary and global explorations of “how design can engage with housing insecurity and homelessness, and nurture thoughtful processes with communities”.

Moderator Carlos Zedillo argues that homelessness will not be solved by housing, and warns against the idea of one solution. He suggests the best place to start is to talk to a person experiencing homelessness. He presents a video of PienZa Sostenible’s “ReConstruir México” project in San Mateo del Mar, Mexico (2017)

Darin Johnstone discusses the role of schools of design and architecture through three projects:
•SCI-Arc & Goethe-Institut’s Homelessness Charrette (2019)
•The INFONAVIT housing laboratory in Apan, Mexico, featuring SCI-Arc faculty firms Pita & Bloom, Francisco Pardo Arquitecto, Zago Architecture, and Griffin Enright Architects (2018-9)
•IVRV House in West Athens designed and built by SCI-Arc & Habitat for Humanity (2016)

Alexander Hagner of the office gaupenraub+/- describes how students protesting the high cost of housing in Vienna occupied the largest lecture hall of the University of Vienna for three months in 2009. When the students were joined by persons experiencing homelessness, their combined activism led to the renovation of an empty building into VinziRast (2013), providing housing for students, the formerly homeless, shared space, work areas and a restaurant.

Thorsten Deckler discusses his [In]formal Studio project with Anne Graupner at University of Johannesburg, proposing upgrades for informal settlements, focusing on their work in two areas adjacent to Johannesburg: Ruimsig (2011) and Marlboro South (2012).

Tebogo Ramatio discusses
•“The 495 City” masterclass in Pretoria (2018) on medium rise high density dwellings
•A project on the suburb of Fietas (a.ka. Vrededorp), adjacent to the Johannesburg Central Business District
•Migrant City (2017) engaging homeless migrant women and children

Ana Elvira Vélez discusses three housing projects in the department of Antioquia in Columbia:
•La Playa in Medellín (2000-4)
•La Habana in Salgar (2015-6)
•Curazos in Apartadó (in construction)

She stresses in each project the concept of territorial identity and intermediate spaces, while pointing out different forms of support and participation.

After their presentations, the five panelists respond to comments and questions from the audience.

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