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Panel Discussion: World of Homelessness

Discussion with Darin Johnstone, Alexander Hagner, Anne Graupner, Thorsten Deckler, Ana Elvira Vélez, and moderated by Carlos Zedillo

W.M. Keck Lecture Hall
October 24, 2019 at 4:00pm
September 18, 2019 at 7:00pm

There is a common misconception that city planning and architecture seek to provide “solutions to end homelessness.” These solutions include various types of supportive, affordable, and shared housing as well as small scale structures providing temporary shelter. Independent of the quality of design thinking such projects and structures can be met with opposition by the communities coming from the prospective occupants and the existing community.

How can homeless communities become a part of the strategic design process that is engaging and beneficial for them? How can architects produce mutually supportive environments for houseless communities? How can community-driven processes contribute to responsible and comprehensive design solutions? How can schools of design and architecture encourage the success of such initiatives?

“SCI-Arc is known for meeting a design challenge with speculative and radical thinking, and though design alone will not solve the problem of homelessness, it might be able to identify new directions and fresh approaches for some of the many fields engaged with the crisis” comment Hernan Diaz Alonso, Director/CEO of SCI-Arc and Erik Ghenoiu, Research Coordinator.

Panelists include: LA architect Darin Johnstone, Principal and CEO of djA (darin johnstone Architecture) established in 2004, and a founding member of the architectural design collaborative flux; Alexander Hagner from Vienna, Austria, who has created mixed housing that brings people experiencing homelessness together with students; Anne Graupner and Thorsten Deckler from Johannesburg, South Africa, who have worked with informal settlements, community architects and students from the Johannesburg University Faculty of Architecture and Design; and Ana Elvira Vélez, an architect from Colombia, who has successfully created collective housing in Medellin. The conversation will be moderated by Carlos Zedillo.

Worlds of Homelessness, a project of the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles, is a week long program in Los Angeles proposing an interdisciplinary and global engagement with homelessness, and its connections to inequality, gentrification, racism and migration. The project creates a platform for local and international artists, architects, and scholars to come together to share ideas.

Discussions, music performances, and film screenings will take place from October 22 – 27, 2019 in Los Angeles at the Skid Row History Museum and Archive, NAVEL, and SCI-Arc, and culminate with the Festival for All Skid Row Artists on October 26 and 27, 2019 in Gladys Park in Skid Row.

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