The inspiration or goal of this project is to mitigate the sense of feeling trapped, physically, emotionally, and creatively, and to design for community, choice, empowerment, function, identity, and aesthetic. Bold colors are an integral element of this design.
Every single resident-unit design draws inspiration from the aesthetic of a different queer artist/icon, some established and some up-and-coming; these icons include Lady Gaga, Frank Ocean, David Bowie, and King Princess.
The wayfinding techniques integrated into this affordable housing design rely on correlated color and pattern to aid in navigation. This is especially important in a situation such as this when residents may be moving in and out frequently and must quickly develop a visual association with their personal living unit.
Colors correlated to the theme or aesthetic of each room are applied to the floor and wall and highlight the path to each distinct unit. Curved markers also point out the location of the elevator and stairs with distinct shapes for each. A single radial arch signifies the entrance to a unit, a double radial arch signifies the elevator entrance, and a wave shape directs the navigator to the stairwell on each level. In addition, bright and minimal colored numbers signify each unit number in an obvious way.
The need for shelter and safety in relation to LGBTQ+ youth and young adults is important in relieving the vulnerability and stigma that surrounds queer culture. Homelessness and financial instability are prevalent issues in the world today; these issues are even more urgent in the queer community as youth and young adults are victims of discrimination in all aspects of life. LGBTQ+ people experience high rates of homelessness relating to rejection from their families, discrimination by the government and other agencies, workplaces, etc. This fact makes it all the more important to design inclusive facilities, homes, and communities that are targeted toward queer people and communities.
Each design draws from the aura and aesthetic of each queer figure. Lady Gaga’s design features magenta and lapis lazuli hues accented by high-contrast heartwood patterns.
Frank Ocean’s design features deep purples and citrus oranges accented by abstract ink patterns.
David Bowie’s design features vibrant reds and powder-dusted blues accented by light-flecked patterns.
King Princess’s design features moody blues and rich emerald greens accented by earth-inspired geometric patterns.
Uniquely shaped and physically condensed, the standard floor plan for this structure integrates every necessity (in combination with shared communal spaces) and plenty of storage to accommodate any length of inhabitance.
Information surrounding the economic status of queer youth and adults has been collected and makes it apparent that there is a crisis even within the homeless epidemic that targets this demographic and sets them up for failure. Creating affordable housing units that are not only fiscally reasonable but creatively empowering with high-functionality will set these youth and young adults up for success and facilitate bonding within their community.