On this installment of Archinect Sessions, we’re sharing a conversation I had a couple of months ago with Sofia Borges and R. Scott Mitchell, the leaders of a design-build studio at USC that addressed one of the most pressing issues in Los Angeles today - homelessness.
The MADWORKSHOP Homeless Studio set out with the goal of addressing this city-wide crisis by developing a real-world architectural response. The initial motivation for the studio came from the founders of MADWORKSHOP, Mary and David Martin, who reached out to USC School of Architecture with the hope that the students would be able to come up with some practical, creative and buildable solutions of homelessness in Los Angeles. You can learn more about the studio in this feature we have previously published. Since the completion of the studio they have produced a book documenting the process and results in "Give Me Shelter." The book is currently available for purchase from ORO, the publisher, or on Amazon.
Our conversation ranges from discussing both Sofia and Scott’s complementary backgrounds, considerations for approaching this difficult and delicate problem in an academic environment, to thoughts on how architects can actually make a positive difference to this growing problem.