Comment on: Homeless chic flicks a v-sign at humanity
In 2002 we designed and prototyped the Park Bench House - a park bench that converts to a homeless shelter. In 2004 we designed and built the Bus Shelter House - a bus shelter that converts to a homeless shelter and includes a dispensary for space blankets + a cup of tea and where the advertising hoarding becomes a small gallery space for emerging artists. Our Picnic Table House (2009) was exhibited at the 1:1 exhibition at the V+A in 2009. Despite the 'enthusiasm' of local Councils here in Melbourne none of these projects is in actual use. Your article is spot on. Architects are regularly briefed to design out the homeless. These projects are not trying to solve homelessness - they are arguments for compassionate infrastructure that is inclusive rather than exclusive. Despite being 10,500 miles away the resistance in our communities to what amounts to a subtle shift in design and attitude to accommodate those sleeping rough is disturbingly consistent.
Sean Godsell Melbourne
Paul makes some excellent points. Everyone benefits from good design and we have a collective responsibility to ensure that the constructed environment for our children and their teachers is of the highest possible standard. I don't think this is determinism or any profound pedagogical position - just common sense and common decency. Well designed and constructed schools make for better teaching conditions and happier teachers and children.
Comment on: Wombats by Andrew Mulroy Architects
wombat - Australian marsupial that eats roots and leaves. An appropriate name for a chain of youth hostels.