M.Arch Thesis
 Final Review

 Friday, May 21, 2021

︎    Review Room
︎    After Party
︎   Presentation Schedule
︎︎︎     Pamphlet
︎︎︎     Optional Backdrop
︎    Critics, Advisers, Readers
︎      Students
            Xio Alvarez
            Ben Hoyle, Eytan Levi
            Lynced Torres
            Marisa Waddle, Lucas Igarzabal
            Erin Wong
            Ziyu Xu
            Andrew Younker

︎     Coordinators
            Deborah Garcia
            Andrew Scott
︎     Department Head
            Nicholas de Monchaux 
︎     MArch Program Director
            Brandon Clifford 
︎     Special Thanks To

            Eleni Aktypi
            Cynthis Stewart
            Kathaleen Brearley
            Christopher Jenkins

︎     Web Design
          Anna Vasileiou

Xio Alvarez

The Houseful(l)ness
of Public Space

Advisor: Miho Mazereeuw, Larry Vale
Readers: Nicholas de Monchaux, Garnette Cadogan

The afterimage of an encampment clearing in Seattle’s industrial district

This thesis takes up the role of architects and urban designers in houselessness, not through our positions on affordable housing, but by considering the ways that we play a part in perpetuating the privatization of domesticity. Domestic life - the programs and functions most closely associated with housing and home - has been largely programmed out of the public spaces of cities to make them inhospitable to unhoused residents and the urban poor more broadly. Most visible in the form of so-called hostile architecture, these anti-domestic practices result in public spaces that discourage lingering or gathering, in which it is difficult to spend time. In doing so, we center a long-lasting definition of the socio-political project of “the public'' which defines membership through one’s proximity and access to property. Public spaces of the city are then further policed to discourage uses and occupations that are discordant with the recreational, ordered dominant use case.

The afterimage of an encampment clearing in Seattle’s industrial district

Despite this, the public spaces of cities are made house-full by unhoused residents. Lacking access to the programs packaged in housing, unhoused residents piece together different rooms and play out different routines of necessity and joy throughout the city. Attempts to design unhoused people out of public space have resulted in a universally hostile public realm whose impacts are unevenly felt. Unhoused people are closest to this problem and bear the brunt of its violence. In this thesis I consider what public space begins to look like when those of us that design it critically change our agenda.  What could the public realm look like if we expanded its domestic possibilities rather than restricting them, and how can we center the domesticities of unhoused residents in that expansion? What happens when public space is seen as housefull?

The afterimage of an encampment clearing in Seattle’s industrial district

A map showing the geography of public lands in the city, the public amenities that the city services, and the records of encampment clearings

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