at home with the unhoused, berlin, germany

According to the homeless man John, as posted on the Archidose blogspot in early 2004, “no matter what architects do, somebody else is doing something more interesting than architects would ever dream of.”

According to Katherin Löer, and her master’s thesis titled At Home with the Unhoused: Conversations with Man and Women Living on the Streets of Berlin,” homeless individuals in Berlin often do and create things more interesting than architects would ever dream of.  With their knowledge of the city and the ability to claim spaces, they create their home within the city context.  They use the city and what the city offers to their advantage and create their homes with what is available in the city.  They are not homeless.  For the “city users” the city becomes the home – the city home.

To tell the stories of the individuals who make the city their home, this project describes the daily routine of several individuals (with insights gained from a two-month internship) and appreciates these people for how they manage to survive somewhat independently on the streets of Berlin.  It is argued that these individuals are not future clients for architects.  Instead, it is suggested that we – architects, designers, planners, policy-makers, and others – have much to learn from those we consider to be homeless.

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157625538166602″]

(The photographs were taken by the homeless men with disposable cameras provided by Löer.)

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