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Architecture for the wellbeing of homeless youth: research by design project, pioneering buskers

Lu, Zhaozhan, Davidova, Marie ORCID: and Pope, Tabitha 2021. Architecture for the wellbeing of homeless youth: research by design project, pioneering buskers. Presented at: The City and Complexity – Life, Design and Commerce in the Built Environment, London, England, 17-19 June 2020. Published in: Lastman, Robert ed. AMPS Proceedings Series 19.1. The City and Complexity. AMPS Proceedings Series , vol.19.1 AMPS, pp. 19-35.

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The paper examines the architectural design methods for homeless youth's wellbeing in self-built housing assistance programs. As a global issue, homelessness is alleviated in many countries via housing provision policies. However, housing cannot help the homeless to reintegrate into society directly, although it is vital. This research by design investigates how the self-build process can bring benefits to the users, through comparative analysis of self-built case studies in the UK and surveys of homeless groups. Following the case studies’ analyses (Y: CUBE in London, apartments for homeless youth, 2015; Walters Way in London, self-built community, 1986) the work concludes that the wellbeing of homeless youth should be prioritized within the assistance project’s agenda. This can be achieved by establishing place attachment that would empower residents through a self-build process. Architects could play critical roles in such projects, for example, by designing a modular flexible structural system allowing users to be involved in construction and adaptation over time. The diversity of housing, community spaces and the flexibility that meets the needs of individuals can empower the community and its relation to place. For the users’ feeling of ownership, in-depth consideration of the building structure is required to provide user-friendly incremental housing that can be built by themselves with flexibility and stability. Based on thoughtful design, an architect-led participatory design strategy with collaboration between stakeholders could guarantee the quality of the building, enhance the homeless youth’s connection with the community and other social groups, improving their self-confidence, their self-esteem, and their wellbeing. Limited by time and length, this research is based on the context of a new development site. Specific analysis for situated homeless groups is needed when considering different regional conditions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TH Building construction
T Technology > TT Handicrafts Arts and crafts
Uncontrolled Keywords: homelessness; homeless youth; suburbia; modular systems; DIY; codesign; participation
Publisher: AMPS
ISSN: 2398-9467
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 5 November 2020
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2022 10:24

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