monument to homelessness

Download Monument to Homelessness

Post on 16-May-2015



Health & Medicine

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"How can HCI alleviate homelessness?" This was a question I and two cohorts addressed. We reasoned that the 'most likely' approach most others would take would be to develop a social network for the homeless (or caretakers of the homeless) or volunteers. We looked instead to create empathy by giving our users a 'virtual' experience of homelessness. As we approached this idea through games, we could achieve an intellectual appreciation of homelessness, but not necessarily the 'feeling.' We ended up moving way "outside the box" to create a 'monument' to the homeless, that took users through a narrative of shame, fear, confusion, and finally, resolution, kindness, and support for fellow humankind.


  • 1. Team H Hyewon Kim Adam Williams Chandra Dyson Sean Connolly

2. Aims We aim to assist communication between those who are displaced by homelessness 3. LOST IN ISOLATION Mantra 4. Goals

  • Our goal is to stimulate a meaningful awareness in the public of the homeless

5. Predispostions

  • Homelessness is as much an emotional issue as a material
  • All people have emotions
  • Shame causes isolation
  • Maya Lin would go into the pain.

6. Insight

  • The pain is shame

7. Research

  • A communitys social networks are highly effective tools for preventing recurring homelessness
  • Friends!Shelters! People!

8. Insight

  • Encouraging more public interaction with homeless will increase support networks of homeless
  • Encouraging human interaction with homelessness decreases homelessness

9. So 10. You 11. Seeing yourself homeless

  • Enacts mental model of in proximity to homeless person
  • Puts one in context of avoiding the homeless
  • Too subtle to attract everyone
  • It is the attention of one person on the homeless which starts the group experience


  • You approach

13. 2. You look down 14.

  • The floor blinks HOMELESS

15. 4. Pictures of you start to appear 16. 5. Pictures of you rise up the wall 17. 6. Once at eye level, pictures of just your eyes (blinking back at you) rise up the wall - accelerating 18. 7. Your eyes race up to and *across the ceiling* 19. 8. Pictures of your eyes race back down wall, turning back into pictures of you (face) looking at you (note the reflection of the dog) 20. 9. You follow reflection of dog back to original screen 21. 10. See yourself in hobo clothes 22. Consequences

  • Your clothes are tattered
  • Everyone is looking at you, wondering what you did
  • All of your own eyes are looking at you
  • You are unconfident / uncomfortable

, 23. Consequences

  • While you linger in your spot, the outer parts of the board/wall solicitsvolunteers for homeless programs (food banks, shelters, missions)
  • But, these portals areonlyactive when a person endures the whole experience of becoming homeless

24. Meaning Its only after individuals begin to look at the context of homelessness, that the community network can begin to grow. 25. Conclusions

  • Facilitating empathy with the homeless, enables interaction with the homeless
  • If human interaction increases, communitys social networks gain strength
  • The stronger the communitys social-networks, the less homelessness will persist

26. Thank you


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