“We, and I don’t mean just the architects, I mean all of us as a society, we won’t solve homelessness because there will always be situations where someone doesn’t have a place like the rest of us. It’s a question of acceptance and of stigmatization—telling people that they are not allowed to be there won’t solve anything.”
Today, we’re announcing a new project at the CCA: a three-part documentary series that explores forms of urban loneliness. The first episode examines how architects are confronting the pressing issue of homelessness. What does it mean to be without a home? And how can cities become better homes? Each episode in the series will look at two cities and their different socio-political contexts as a way to understand both the global scope as well as the local specificities of the issue. We started filming in Vienna; a city known historically for its long tradition of progressive social housing policies that has seen an overall increase in homelessness over the past five years. In Vienna, we chose to focus on VinziRast mittendrin. Designed by Alexander Hagner from gaupenraub +/-, this living space tackles the issue of rooflessness by prototyping a new form of community: a shared home for students and formerly homeless individuals. Shot in another part of the city and depicting someone’s adapted space off the canal, the above photo is from one of the conversations Giovanna Borasi and director Daniel Schwartz had with Hagner about the reasons behind why people end up living in the streets. We’ve come to this project as part of a new digital storytelling initiative at the CCA—in a global context of inequity and unclear decisionmaking where journalism is often saturated with clickbait and articles shaped by social media algorithms, we’re interested in engaging documentary film and other new media formats as a way to address urgent issues concerning the built environment. Stay tuned for more in the coming months.
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