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Title: Architecture as actant for protest: solidarity with Amiskwaciwâskahikan’s (Edmonton) unhoused community
Authors: Maggay, Robert
Keywords: Alberta;Canada;design activism;Edmonton;harm reduction;homelessness/houselessness;right to WASH;social architecture
Issue Date: 8-Apr-2022
Abstract: Conditioned by neoliberal imperatives and settler colonial impositions of ‘property’, architecture is complicit in upholding spatial and social inequities. The neologism ‘houselessness’ foregrounds housing as a human right, which must be addressed through the provision of accessible housing, yet this process is slow. Moreover, unhoused individuals are disproportionately affected by pandemics. Their aggravated health risks owe to crowded shelters, comorbidities, and pandemic-related restrictions of supportive services. While COVID-19 has worsened the pre-existing houselessness crisis, some immediate effects may be addressed locally through mutual aid: a form of rapid response and community care that demonstrates both the need for bottom-up solutions and interim approaches to houselessness. This thesis explores how architecture might challenge existing frameworks of power to act in solidarity with houseless neighbours. The series of design interventions proposed for Edmonton, Alberta, focus on sociospatial relationships — related to water, sanitation, and hygiene — that act in solidarity with houseless people.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses

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