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Wearable Dwellings

Le Corbusier’s well-known phrase ‘The house is a machine for living in’ suggested a kind of machinic aesthetic that became an important concept behind the functionality, standardization and rational order that together laid the foundation of modern architecture. This project aims at raising the question, “what is a home? “ With the intention of reframing what we believe, a home should be.

What is the purpose of your skin? What is the purpose of clothing? What is the purpose of buildings? The basic function of all of these is to protect you from external elements/forces. These act as layers that offer protection. The skin protects you from external forces entering your body; clothing adds an additional layer to that, which is then enhanced by the envelope of buildings. In this project, we are asking you to re think what the main purpose of these layers are, and provide solutions to the following scenarios.

Scenario 1: Housing for the displaced

At present, more people have been forcibly displaced from their homes than at any time since World War ll and there are now more than 70 million refugees and displaced people around the world. Migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants they all have the same main problem of not having a home. Currently, there are 68.5 million men, women and children escaping war, persecution and political turbulence. These are refugees and asylum seekers. There are others who are looking for jobs or an education—they are usually called migrants—and people who want to live permanently in another country—immigrants.

How would you provide shelter to a single displaced person who is categorized as an asylum seeker or a refugee? How can you provide a sense of safety, as well as protect them from the elements? 

Scenario 2: Housing the Urban Homeless

The global housing crisis reflects a fundamental paradox of contemporary capitalism. Cities around the world are more economically powerful and essential than ever. This creates increased demand for their land, leading to escalating housing costs and competition. Homelessness is a mark of failure for communities in providing basic security. Based on national reports, about 2 percent of the world’s population may be homeless. Another 20 percent lacks adequate housing Reasons for homelessness include shortages of affordable housing, privatization of civic services, investment speculation in housing, unplanned and rapid urbanization, as well as poverty, unemployment and family breakdown. Homelessness was once considerably less visible. In 1950, for example, 70 percent of the world’s population of 2.5 billion was spread out across rural areas. Housing problems, far removed from urban centers, were largely unnoticed. Today, most of the world’s population of 7.6 billion, 55 percent, is concentrated in urban centers, in close proximity to the politically influential and economically well-to-do. Homelessness therefore is mostly attributed with urbanity.

How would you provide shelter to a single homeless person in an urban environment? How can you provide a sense of safety, as well as protect them from the elements? 

Scenario 3: Housing for Disasters

Natural disasters are considered to be a part of human existence and are increasing in occurrence. Disasters in the past such as the Bird Flu in 1997 – 1998, 2001 – 2002, 2003, in Eastern India in 2008; the 9/11 attacks in 2001; the incidence of SARS in 2002 in Southern China and in 2003 in Hong Kong; the outbreak of the Iraq War in 2003; a killer tsunami (2004) and Huricanes like Charley, Francis (2005); the London Bombing (2005), Paris (2015), and many others have made the world realize that the future is definitely uncertain. Manmade as well as natural disasters are seemingly on the rise and due to globalization, these events can have a wide impact. Natural disasters can hit at anytime and anywhere. It is not uncommon that such disasters leave thousands homeless. People left homeless by natural disasters have fewer resources than any other type of homeless person. There is no park to camp out in, no alley to sleep in, and no bridge to sleep under.

How would you provide shelter to a single person affected by a natural disaster? How can you provide a sense of safety, as well as protect them from the elements? Consider a natural disaster such as a hurricane or a tsunami, and then consider a scenario where the individual would need shelter before first responders arrived. 

Scenario 4: Housing for the Zombie Apocalypse

The United States may have one of the largest armies on earth, but even the Pentagon is taking no chances at being caught off-guard by an unusual foe. In fact, in 2011, the U.S. Department of Defense released a strategy to combat a potential zombie apocalypse. The Pentagon isn’t the only governmental department to use zombies as a learning tool. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has also played off the popularity of The Walking Dead and other zombie-related cultural phenomena, releasing a zombie preparedness plan to better inform the public of what to do if—or when—a disaster strikes.
How would you provide shelter to a single person from the undead? How can you provide a sense of safety, as well as protect them from the elements as well as the army of the undead? 

Scenario 5: Housing in Space

Collapsible Sleeping Quarters: One of the next modules for orbiting around the moon will not be able to launch with sleeping quarters installed so a new style sleeping quarters that can be installed on orbit will have to be developed.

Develop a collapsible sleep quarters that will provide privacy for the person to sleep, change clothes and relax. The quarters need to have an entry door, a location for a light, openings for a fan to blow air in and second opening the for removal of air. It also is necessary to have pockets on the exterior to accommodate bags of water that will act as radiation protection as well as a location for water stowage and help with sound absorption.

How would you provide a collapsible Sleeping Quarter to one astronaut on a NASA space module? How can you provide a sense of safety and create a calm atmosphere for the astronaut?

Scenario 6: Office pod

The dramatic shift in office design in the last decade has seen many iterations--open offices, biophilic design, water features, dedicated task areas, and more. The purpose of all of it is to improve the working lives of employees who spend more than half their waking hours at the office.

Much of the reason offices cater to the comfort of employees lies in a mountain of data showing tired, mentally drained, and unhappy staff are not at their creative, productive best; are more likely to switch jobs; and generally have a negative impact on company culture. When employees are mentally everybody benefits. So how do you keep your employees at the peak of their creativity and satisfaction?

How would you provide a one person quiet space in an office? How can you provide a calming atmosphere that would improve productivity and creativity in the workplace?