One of the main homeless issues is the NIMBY - Not in My Backyard. People are reluctant to include or enter the homeless space in their community since we perceive homeless living spaces as unsafe and frightening spaces, which further results in homeless people becoming unsocialized and isolated.
To solve this negative perception of homeless space, in this project, I suggest converting outdoor spaces homelessness resides into cultural event spaces. First, homelessness has a chance to learn and explore art and cooking as a means of therapy for their mental problems and a means of practical skills to stand on their feet. Afterward, they exhibit their work or hold food events in their actual outdoor living space, such as the parking ‘lot’ of a homeless shelter. By converting bleak and desolate homeless spaces into vigorous and energetic cultural spaces, homeless people can gain energy through socializing with people and a sense of accomplishment. Also, it will help the community embrace homelessness in their neighborhood since they feel safe and secure in homeless spaces.
LOTOF: A student organization that supports homelessness with cultural approaches. a LOTOF arts: An art exhibition that exhibits homeless artworks outdoors. a LOTOF eats: A food festival, prepared by homeless chefs.
During the research process of the project, I visited one of the homeless shelters in Lafayette, Indiana, and I found that many homelessness still chooses to sleep outside regardless of the availability of housing they are offered. Therefore, I decided to focus on creating a safe and positive outdoor environment for both homelessness and the community.
The key idea of the project is to use outdoor spaces homelessness resides as cultural event spaces. The most effective and substantive way to help homelessness become independent in their life is to develop social skills through socializing with the community. Through transformed vigorous cultural space, homelessness and the community can communicate with each other and have positive influences reciprocally.
The project was successful. The core concept of converting the outdoor living space of homelessness into a cultural space was original. Also, it was a well-balanced project between psychology research on the homeless issue and design application. Moreover, the branding was very cohesive even throughout three different subjects, homeless organization branding and two cultural events. Overall, the energetic mood of the branding design will have homelessness regain a positive mind and create a safe space for both homelessness and the community.