POD Initiative

POD Initiative

The Partners on Dwelling (POD) Initiative, imagined by Portland State University's Center for Public Interest Design, the Village Coalition and the Rebuilding Center, facilitated by the City of Portland, seeks to address one aspect of homelessness on a local scale. Holst is currently working on the design-build effort of a small-scale structure that contributes to a built environment where all people have access to shelter. We ultimately seek to change the public perception of the houseless community by providing a level of design quality that reflects the dignity of the lives of these individuals.  

In an effort to prioritize the immediate need for shelter, the design team for Cabin A decided to pursue a project that would be as simple, minimal, and buildable as possible. With this goal in mind, the team arrived at a familiar form: the a-frame. The durability, efficiency, simplicity, and beauty of the a-frame made it an attractive structure for the basic purpose of providing shelter. Additionally, the a-frame evokes a sense of nostalgia and pioneering individualism while, in the same instance, encourages a sense of community akin to that of a family camping trip. Thus, the a-frame structure was chosen and leveraged for the design of a sleeping pod that is efficient while also offering a beautiful and dignified place to live.

The design of the a-frame also lends itself well to a one-for-one strategy: to get these built, the design team is also proposing a social entrepreneurship model where these are constructed and sold to campgrounds or homeowners; with each a-frame purchased, one will be given to a houseless individual. Through this method, the a-frames can be constructed without being contingent upon the availability of public resources.



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