Slovakian-based design company DesignDevelop has initiated the Gregory Project, which envisions turning billboards into small, affordable housing units for the poor and homeless.
Homelessness is an increasing problem worldwide. According to a 2005 U.N report, there are over 100 million homeless people worldwide due mostly to a lack of affordable housing, substance abuse, and mental illness. The Gregory Project seeks to help these people by providing them with shelter.
The plan would build homes with billboards printed on two outside walls. Each home would have a bed, desk, kitchen, bathroom, and storage space. Although small, the homes would fulfill daily needs, and the estimated cost for each billboard home is around $5400 a year. The project is non-profit, and its sole purpose is to provide the homeless with shelter.
DesignDevelop plans on building these billboard homes first in Banska Bystrica, a Slovakian City, because resources such as electricity and water are readily available, making it easy for the homes to be connected to those resources. Yet the company hopes the project expands worldwide. To facilitate this, the Gregory Project is open source project, meaning that any architects and designers that are interested in this project can take part and help develop the company’s ideas. To learn more, visit www.projectgregory.com.
“I think the project is a good idea and could be a solution to getting more homeless people off the streets. I see a lot of homeless people on the streets and I’m glad that the project is seeking to help these people,” said Kami Durairaj, a sophomore at Harvard-Westlake, in a discussion with JSR.
“I think it’s a better alternative than many other ideas people have had for trying to reduce the number of homeless people,” she added.
DesignDevelop is not the first company that thought of utilizing billboards more efficiently. In fact, scientists at the University of Engineering and Technology in Peru built air-purifying billboards this May. The air-purifying billboards are located in Lima, the city known for having the worst air quality in all of South America, and does the same amount of air-cleaning work as 1200 trees. The billboards filter 3.5 million cubic feet daily, benefiting residents within a five-block radius.