“We cannot solve problems with the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” -Albert Einstein.
DWELL is a workshop about the future of housing. (And re-building society, considering employability, supporting young people and increasing equality in early careers). It can be delivered in-person or virtually and will link to Enterprise, PSHE and RSE topic areas.
The UK had a housing crisis before COVID. Young people are living with their parents and guardians until they are in their mid-twenties and into their thirties.
Massive deposits are now demanded by mortgage companies and landlords are able to charge huge rents and deposits for ever-smaller properties.
Homelessness is higher than ever and no ‘affordable’ social housing has been built by the Government in the past years despite promising 200,000 new homes a year.
Recent investigations have found that office blocks are – through Permitted Development Rights loopholes – being turned into high-rise containment units for families with some ‘homes’ being created in a 13m2 footprint to house a family. This is a cube with a floor area of 3.6 metre x 3.6 metre. THIS IS NOT RIGHT.(See the links to the Radio 4 programme ‘My Name Is…’ at the bottom of the page). It looks like the COVID pandemic is also changing the way people are looking at work and living, many company will be looking to move out of city-centre offices and their workers will be working from home instead…this creates two problems: MORE empty office space and more people having to work in cramped and possibly inappropriate workspaces. Both issues that DWELL aims to solve.
“DWELL really made me think about the unfairness of housing – it needs to be better” – Year 10 Student.
So what should be done instead?
We’ve designed the DWELL concept to allow students to explore some of the issues that have created the housing crisis, the disproportionate level of office building and retail closures and what solutions could be developed to help solve homelessness and create some affordability in housing as well as building multi-space communities.
DWELL Stands for:
…and it’s a workshop that allows your students to envisage their future independence as part of a supportive community which encourages and celebrates diversity.
The workshop works brilliantly as a half day session which includes some of the most powerful statistics and research into housing, environment, employability and society which engages student notions of fairness and equity and our materials lead teams to create their own DWELL Centre complete with business units, wellbeing centre, learning zones, social enterprise solutions and environmentally-friendly solutions to the problems in modern town and city-centres.
Please see the pictures for examples of the work and solutions presented by Year 10s in Wimbledon – including a centre called Fair Fields with low rents, free childcare and workplaces offering work experience and training and qualification opportunities.
It’s a big, expensive and daunting world out there for young people, we need to let them think about what kind of world they want to live in – whether they aspire to be architects, planners, project managers, social workers, housing officers or sociologists.
Radio 4 – My Name Is…Imogen Rhodes explores homelessness and PDR.