Rough sleeping: it takes a crisis to solve a crisis

Architects Aware! is a London based think tank of built environment professionals who aim to find long term design and policy-based solutions to UK homelessness....

I founded Architects Aware! in 2019, following the success of the Hidden Homeless ideas competition that I ran jointly with Colander and New Horizon Youth Centre. The competition looked to explore how planning policy could be adapted to better address the housing crisis beyond ‘affordable housing’ tenures, to other housing needs such as emergency, temporary and move-on accommodation for the homeless. At the time of launching the competition I was hopeful that the winning scheme would become a reality. However, complexities around project funding, policy and planning uses, as well as lack of clear design guidelines for these building typologies, has made delivering a project of this nature very challenging.

  • Competition winners: Morris + Co

Conversations with expert advisors during the competition made it clear that cross-disciplinary collaboration would be required for similar projects to become a reality. Motivated by the desire not to lose momentum on the research invested to date, as well as the need to find a mechanism to allow these types of projects to be built, I formed Architects Aware!

With the need for cross disciplinary thinking, Architects Aware! comprises 19 core members from a range of multi-disciplinary backgrounds, all with an established expertise of working in the homeless sector.

This week we have launched our first research document: 'Rough Sleeping Post COVID-19 – it takes a crisis to solve a crisis'. In it we explore design studies that look at reimagining a range of existing building types in the future.

A pdf of our report is available in the side bar of this webpage. To find out more about Architects Aware! please visit our website.