Robert Gallardo is embarking on his biggest project yet, solving homelessness through design with “no more land”.


I am not quite sure if the concept of solving homelessness has been brought up to me in many years or even in my life time. One would think this would be one of the most important achievements to be made in human history so why hasn’t it been done yet. The selfishness of the world I feel is one reason for that but also I feel possibly it has to do with the right minds on board and right technology available.

paraSITE homeless shelters by Michael Rakowitz (1997)

These “paraSITE” homeless shelters took the concept in the right direction. What if you were able to carry around an inflatable shelter via a backpack or even a device that would open it up. If designed with the correct materials this could be the first huge step in fighting the issue. The shelter would have to be able to protect the inhabitant from harsh weather conditions as well as intruders, so I am not sure how practical the inflatable material would be, maybe if it was able to harden after being fully inflated it would be the perfect portable shelter.

Nomadic Furniture by Studio Makkink & Bey

This nomadic furniture by Studio Makkink & Bey also brings up the concept of a portable shelter. The blanket like material would be really help with travel during those cold winter months, also acting as a bed and comforter once fully deconstructed. Since the person is essential wearing the furniture it would be easy to set up shop anywhere you want as long as the material is lightweight. This could also cut down on the amount of items one would have to lug around from place to place, solely focusing on the essentials.

1880s Japanese farmer straw hat, straw rain coat and water carrier.

It is important to look at what techniques from the past worked for past generations to survive. Back in the day the design of your clothes and tools mainly tied into the weather of the region. I am not sure people nowadays would have to use the water carrier and straw materials to survive in the world at this time but it never hurts to get back to the basics when looking for inspiration.

The Hub by Rob Sweere

This almost hammock like shelter designed by Rob Sweere is a step in the right direction. If you could combine the aspects of the paraSITE shelters with this “Hub” shelter you might find the key. The structure of “The Hub” seems to contain that sturdiness needed for harsh conditions but the size could also be a hinderance. Like stated previously if you were able to maybe compact the structure into a smaller device or even piece of furniture it would be much more accessible and travel ready. Also in harsh wind conditions you would have to possibly set up in a different location.

Spring Wind House by auworkshop

This concept for me is taking the idea of the paraSITE shelters to the next level. Possibly if you were able to fully enclose the structure, forming a protective wind orb around the host, this could potentially be the ideal design. Now the only problem would be setting it up without wind or having the proper tools to be able to set up camp.

The concept of homelessness I feel I just something we as a society has just accepted is a part of life instead of trying to give everyone a shelter. Shouldn’t a basic human right be having a place to call your own, even if it’s just a inflatable device that forms around you, it’s still a shelter and better than being out in the cold. This project is a tough task, but I know Rob will surround himself with the best team and the best resources to bring his vision to life. Thank you for bringing this projects to life.