Just Build It: Design guidelines for a tiny home community in the Region of Waterloo based on conversations with residents who have experienced homelessness
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As governments in the Region of Waterloo consider implementing tiny home communities (THCs) for people experiencing homelessness, the Tiny Homes Research Project (THRP) has partnered with the City of Cambridge to design a “v2” prototype home – from the “v1” built in a previous phase – in alignment with the regional government’s plans for a new supportive housing THC. Following a review of existing tiny home designs and regulations, our research team conducted the Tiny Home Prototype Study (THPS) to explore how people who have experienced homelessness define their own needs and wellbeing as it relates to housing. Data collection involved two focus group sessions located at the v1 prototype, with one group of participants from the emergency shelter in Cambridge, and the other group made up of people living in an existing THC. A coding methodology for sociospatial analysis was developed to translate the personal insights collected from the conversations into spatial information: the Tiny Home Community Design Guidelines. Five Guiding Principles for Tiny Home Design emerged from that process, each supplemented by specific Spatial Practices – objectives that describe what potential residents want to be able to do or feel in the home. v2 design sketches were developed through the five principles in sequence, aiming to provide (1) A Regular Place to Live, (2) Choice, (3) Utility, and (4) Security; and aiming to address the tension between a formalised design process, and the urgency to (5) Just Build It.
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Elizabeth Antczak (2023). Just Build It: Design guidelines for a tiny home community in the Region of Waterloo based on conversations with residents who have experienced homelessness. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19469