Power, Architecture, Transition: Creating a Safe Space for Victims of Domestic Violence.
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This thesis examines issues of poverty and homelessness in Toronto, specifically focusing on the needs of women and children who are the most vulnerable group and are homeless as a result of being victims of domestic violence. The thesis reflects on the power of architecture, relating to the limits of a physical environment created by an institution and how this effects rehabilitation and empowerment for shelter residents. This is a polemical thesis which creatively engages in the discussion of how informed design paired with an enlightened service model can create a positive implication on residents’ recovery. The traditional and institutional notion of the shelter, with its objective of correction, is not capable of extending beyond offering accommodation, to address the questions of fundamental concerns to our society. Violence against women is a crime that exists in secrecy. Survivors of domestic violence remain invisible, without a visible place to speak, without a place to tell their own stories. Dialogue is transformative. Telling invokes transformation.(i) In this context, a shelter can become a space of resistance. This thesis proposes a model for designing a shelter that is based on transformation, rather than adaptation. A model that openly instills invention and dialogue. A model that can question the relationship between personal and public. The aim of this project is to allow for architectural affordance created through affect and syntax. By looking at program possibilities, such as thresholds and gradients of privacy, this thesis proposes an approach that mediates the relationships between shelter residents, their community, and the surrounding neighborhood.
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Natalia Semenova (2018). Power, Architecture, Transition: Creating a Safe Space for Victims of Domestic Violence.. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12917