One of the projects of the studio this semester was the designing and building of one-person homeless shelters from recycled materials found in and around MIT and Cambridge. Working in teams of four or five, the students had five days to design and build their shelters, each team working with a budget of $50. An important aspect of the project was to orient students to the need for social architecture -- architecture that is meant to redress social problems -- and to make them aware of how much useful material we throw away. Ultimately, the shelters were to aspire to the quality of a quilt -- something artful and useful made from recycled materials. Shelters had to be unobtrusive and portable; fit into a shopping cart or roll on wheels; keep out the elements; and provide some warmth in winter and ventilation in the summer. Students built the shelters with the help of Technical Instructor Chris Dewart. All images are courtesy of Donna Coveney, and used with permission.

Homeless Shelter Project

The other projects for the semester included designing a performance space in a quarry, an individual place, and the final project, a coming together place. Those projects are shown here from a number of students. All work is courtesy of the students named and used with permission.

W. Victoria Lee

Caitlin Mueller

Diana Nee

Maggie Nelson

Harini Rajaraman