9/21/2005

gizmag Article: The paraSITE - an inflatable shelter for the homeless that runs off expelled HVAC air


gizmag Article: The paraSITE - an inflatable shelter for the homeless that runs off expelled HVAC air:

Artist Michael Rakowitz feels strongly about the issue of homelessness. So strongly that when he focussed his creative attentions on the subject he began manifesting practical outcomes, specifically the ParaSITE. The parasite is a is a small, collapsible, double-membrane shelter that uses the escaping warm air from a building’s HVAC system to inflate and warm the temporary home. Rakowitz has now been nominated for a prestigious Index Award for the paraSITE and his work is far from finished. We invited Michael to explain the project.


The issue of homelessness is of global proportions and it is foolish to think that any one proposition will address all the issues associated with this problem. There are many different types of homeless people. The mentally ill, the chemically dependent, those who are unable to afford housing, men, women, families, even those who prefer this way of life are included among the vast cross section of homeless people in every urban instance. Each group of homeless has subjective needs based on circumstance and location. My project does not make reference to handbooks of statistics. Nor should this intervention be associated with the various municipal attempts at solving the homeless issue. This is a project that was shaped by my interaction as a citizen and artist with those who live on the streets.

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