Through Sept. 22: Students display shelters for the homeless

By Zahra Debbek, Voiland College of Engineering & Architecture intern

PULLMAN, Wash. – Creative, affordable shelters for the homeless that were researched, designed and built by Washington State University graduate students are on display through Sept. 22 in the Carpenter Hall gallery.

Although the students developed solutions in response to homelessness in the state of Washington, their ideas could be applicable on a global scale, said Omar Al-Hassawi, instructor of the advanced tectonics class in the WSU School of Design and Construction.

“They came up with innovative ideas” made from recyclable materials, he said. “One design didn’t use any nails or screws; rather, it is tied together using rods and ropes.” Other structures incorporate wood, plastic bottles and styrofoam.

“Shelter Solutions for the Unsheltered: Responses to the Growing Homelessness Crisis in the U.S. Northwest” is meant to bring awareness of homelessness and architects’ role in providing shelter in environmentally friendly, creative ways. Al-Hassawi said his students are willing to build full-scale constructions to make them more accessible for the public to view and potentially utilize.