Resource Center

Design Resources for Homelessness

Irene Winifred Eno Grant Research Project

Full Title: Design Resources for Homelessness
Researcher: Jill Pable, Ph.D., FIDEC, ASID; Professor at Florida State University

Department of Interior; and Architecture and Design Resources for Homelessness is an online knowledge source that brings research-informed, curated information and guidance regarding the design and construction of facilities for persons experiencing homelessness to design professionals and others.

Its four objectives are to:

  • Provide resources on designing effective facilities to advocacy organizations, design practitioners, design researchers, and students
  • Promote and make transparent the advantages effective environmental design can have in serving residents, staff, sponsoring organizations, and the public
  • Connect homelessness stakeholders (designers, organizations, and homeless persons themselves) together and promote a community that shares its ideas on shelter environments for the general betterment of the disadvantaged, and by extension, society at large
  • Provide a platform from which data can be collected and analyzed for further research The Design Resources for Homelessness content includes:
  • A review of research with literature anthology that summarizes over 125 empirical studies identifying findings that impact design choices.
  • Four case studies of housing first/supportive housing and homeless shelters from across the United States. Through photos, commentary, and interviews, the case studies share best practices and lessons learned.
  • Two spotlight reports discussing research-informed information on the needs and perceptions of subgroups within the larger homeless population including victims of domestic violence and families.
  • “Great Ideas,” a collection of small, practical inclusions within these environments that can bring comfort and assistance to residents.
  • Databases of designers and projects for persons experiencing homelessness so that organizations can visit positive precedent projects to help inform their future decision-making.
  • Database of government and NGO organizations for designers that offer information and training on the issue of homelessness.
  • A bibliography of research studies that can assist designers in forming and defending their design choices.Design, designresourcesforhomelessness.org.
Research Bio

Jill Pable is a professor in the Interior Architecture and Design Department at Florida State University and a fellow and past national president of the Interior Design Educators Council. She holds B.S. and M.F.A. degrees in Interior Design and a Ph.D. degree in Instructional Technology with specialization in architecture. Her research focuses on the design of environments for the disadvantaged and she is the originator of the Design Resources for Homelessness initiative, a research-informed non-profit online information source for architectural designers and organizations creating environments for people’s recovery from the trauma of homelessness. She is the author and co-author respectively of Sketching Interiors at the Speed of Thought and Interior Design: Strategies for Teaching and Learning and was included in the list of 30 Most Admired Design Educators in the United States in the 2015 annual DesignIntelligence rankings. She believes that design can make life more interesting, fulfilling, and humane.