Alternative Shelter/Alternative Urbanism Exhibit
Monday, December 9, 2019 - 4:00pm to Friday, December 13, 2019 - 5:00pm
Alternative Shelter/Alternative Urbanism Exhibit

In response to an increasing number of people experiencing homelessness in Portland and in other cities around the country, many communities are looking toward alternative shelter typologies that might be able to respond to the urgency of the problem while working toward more permanent solutions. In recent years, the village model has developed as a leading alternative to traditional shelters. Consisting of individual tiny homes (called sleeping pods) with shared kitchen, bathroom, and gathering facilities, the village model aims to provide a dignified place to heal, build community, and transition to permanent housing. Villages represent a crucial point on the spectrum between the street and permanent housing, but it is worth remembering that there are innumerous other points along tha same spectrum that might also contribute to addressing homelessness.

The work in this exhibit by 15 undergraduate students in Portland State University’s School of Architecture explores new visions for an expanded field of alternative shelter typologies, including new approaches to the design of villages. In this 10-week studio, students were asked to research issues related to houselessness in Portland, design innovative alternative shelter approaches, and support the efforts of existing and/or emerging villages in Portland through design with their newfound understanding and critical positions. This exhibit illustrates some of the outcomes of that process.

This studio builds upon a growing body of work at the School of Architecture, Center for Public Interest Design, and Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative intended to demonstrate the power of design to serve traditionally underserved populations. Following this exhibition, much of this work will be featured in an exhibit called Houseless at the Anchorage Museum this winter. We hope that this will be another opportunity to explore new ideas and best practices with other communities experiencing similar challenges. While permanent housing for all remains the ultimate goal, this work endeavors to offer alternative shelter approaches in the interest of supporting our friends and community members experiencing homelessness. We invite you to imagine new solutions with us.

Monday, December 9, 4pm - Friday, December 13
Portland City Hall
1221 SW Fourth Avenue
Portland, Oregon