Pop-Up Havens


School of Design | Graduate Interior Design
Student | Michelle Lei

Textile waste is one of the leading problems humans currently face with waste disposal. This thesis investigates the opportunity to upcycle pre-consumer textile waste where it is reevaluated and given value through artisanal weaving techniques, instilling quality through craftsmanship. The woven tectonic combines the use of pre-consumer textile waste with a mesh system, creating a tool to explore the aesthetic values and establishing a tectonic language with an inherent integrated structural support system that allows discontinuous cutoffs to create continuity in a haptic interface. This thesis introduces a canon of techniques to this one tectonic, where the methodology deployed has the potential to facilitate different types of utility, visual protection, acoustic barrier, and haptic interfaces to act as a spatial driver that uses pre-consumer textile waste to create a three-dimensionalized sense of materiality out of it.

The result is a robust and haptic spatial driver that facilitates a constantly evolving environment, one that begins to address economic inequalities – where transformation takes on a passive role as space is transformed by its users while transforming its users with an educational platform and employment opportunity.

Pop-Up Havens is a 3-month initiative for transitional-homeless individuals that teaches specialized skills for employment within the program in exchange for boarding and income to help ease them out of homelessness. It also fosters collaboration among multidisciplinary fields in the community to create a network that helps support the initiative, providing it with the local resources (food, wet spaces, agencies for permanent housing) to run smoothly. Through deployable modular design, Pop-Up Havens offers quick adaptability to every space it’s installed in.