And away we go!
And so begins the Design Resources for Homelessness blog, an extension of the DRH website. I am Jill Pable, project lead for DRH (designresourcesforhomelessness.org), and am so very happy to have the chance to share in these blog posts current happenings, research discoveries, design and architecture in the news regarding homelessness, and factoids that present themselves, for your reading benefit. Perhaps you are an architect, an interior designer, or an advocacy organization about to embark on a building project. Or a researcher or student of the built environment, interested in furthering our understanding of what it means to design for those who are medically, psychologically or otherwise compromised. The DRH website, and this blog, are for you.
As of the time of this writing, there is no other website organization besides Design Resources for Homelessness dedicated to understanding and advocating for the contribution that physical interior design, interior architecture and architecture can provide to what we might argue is the most needy of persons– those who are experiencing homelessness. It is high time we leverage this potential, so that built space, alongside the necessary social programs, medical treatment, and other services puts its best foot forward to help those that are in this moment of crisis.
There are many facilities and building types at play here- shelters, permanent supportive housing, day centers, and others serve as the backdrop for people’s necessary recovery– and those building can either help, harm or serve as neutral bystanders to this process. Through my research in this area for over 10 years, I am convinced that approaching design from a research-informed stance can best assure that places help people to heal. In future blog posts, we’ll explore new ideas from psychology and other fields that are affecting how we might approach the design of these places, and it’s looking like these notions have the potential to greatly– even radically– alter our current design processes and priorities as we do so. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me at designresourcesforhomelessness.org if there is something that DRH might provide to you in your work– or if you would like to join our effort to harness design to its utmost potential! -jp