kara dziobek

kara dziobek bw

met up with Kara at bif 7? [the year she had just been hired at bif]

she intrigued me with her insight from passions with both architecture and homelessness, in regard to mobile cardboard spaces. that could be outside and inside.. so that the home isn’t displaced when moving around.

such a revelation to – future platform is in the head – ness.

her thesis book on it:

p. 4: i intend to construct an argument, not in a way that poses a right and a wrong answer but asks questions, allowing for people to find the answer for themselves. i intend to looks at the situation from all angles, broadening my perspective. it is approached from all sides, in hopes of creating something that works from the bottom up. …. mark jarzombek writes that a degree project is “nota mere explanation of architecture but an expression (both negative and positive) of architecture’s disciplinary fluidity and uncertainty.” i believe a degree project should be a humbling experience where the final product is unknown with the emphasis on the process.

p. 17: if an ignorant city dweller were an architect for a day, and they were asked to build a shelter, they would most likely build it in the outskirts of the city. the following rendering negate this idea and place an emergency  shelter in a location that is very centralized in providence where ti would be seen by many people. they serve as visual commentaries on this idea and the negative stigma that many people have towards homeless people that they are less than average, and that it’s fine to treat them like animals. if the amount of privacy granted to someone is an indicator of their social status, then the “glass box” not only dehumanizes the inhabitants, but also makes everyone aware of the severity of the problem and how many people aren’t being provided for.

p. 27: the tent cities: in 2009, the lack of space in the shelters resulted in many homeless people were sleeping on the streets and the condition s were very dangerous. megan smith, a student from brown, and john joyce, an activist and at the time homeless, and a group of about 30 homeless people agreed that it was safer together than alone. they decided to take over an area of providence that would hopefully raise awareness for the situation and result in action taken by the city. however, the anticipated temporary camp site turned into a ten month long fight for housing. over this span of time, the “tent cities” evolved into three different communities, hope city, camp runamuch, and provitents.

this odd collection of people, living on the fringe, have chosen to take their chances as a loose clan operating with few rules. there seems to be a level of security gained by the power in numbers and the watchful eyes of the overall group. “it’s simple. we take care of each other,” says Kalil.

really – read it all – amazing insight

p. 31: they liked being hidden. just because one’s way of living doesn’t fit into societal norms, doesn’t mean that one’s standards aren’t the same as anyone else. everyone needs privacy, …

they are a team. they are each other’s community.

declaration of interdependence – ness

p. 32: there was also a man named Carl who was at the door and when he found out that i went to risd he told me that he used to lecture there. .. his illustration have even been in many different publication, including the new yorker..

p. 33: he’s been living out of his car for over a year and would prefer it over a shelter, any day. “they’re horrible – they have bedbugs, cockroaches, and junkies.” no one working at a shelter would ever tell me these things. 

p. 35: she told him that there’s room at the shelter if he wanted to come, but he was content for the night. “i’ll probably come by tomorrow when it gets colder.”  – being able to turn down an offer is empowering in itself.

here’s the thing that especially intrigued me..

the homebox:

p. 41: if someone has been homeless for a long period of time, the homebox serves as a transition from the streets to living indoors. the home box is custom built for the individual, depending on their site, and once they have taken ownership over their box, they can bring it to he facility in the jewelry district where they can install their box as furniture i their room and live within permanent supportive housing. 

p. 42: he told me that he wanted to go to the shelter in cranston but they wouldn’t let him on the bus because he smelt too bad. … there is no public shower facility, except for at crossroads, but the wait is very long. … everyone has a need for privacy, especially in moments of bathing. is there a way to design a transportable private space to bathe that could capture, store, and warm up water?  the models to the right are explorations of tectonics that could serve as a hybrid between an umbrella and a hood, storing rainwater for later use.

buses retrofied

p. 52: the aim for the joinery to be both visible and easy to understand goes with the idea that by designing a structure that ideally could be assemble and disassembled by anyone. the beauty is in the process which is celebrated through the transparency of its assembly.

p. 60 – image – great images.. esp right after this..

kara's cardboard tent

p. 73: each person has unique characteristics and personalities, their own skills and most importantly, a desire to be both private and part of a supportive community. i hope that through this work, architecture can be further thought of as a medium in which social issues can be addressed and lives can be affected in a positive and sustaining way. .. i learned to design with a community of people, not just for them. 


Kara interviewed feb 2013:

Children’s Health and Wellness Alliance


find/follow Kara:

link twitter

link facebook

her about page on bif – as their experience designer for the experience labs:

kara on bif



Marc Roth

Karen Countryman-Roswurm

Mark Harvoth

Cameron Sinclair


homeless pod