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'Haven' for DIFFA By Design

Team: Jeesoo Park + Monica Perez

Competition Finalist. Spring 2020.

Our project began with a dream to create a space that could represent and create a sense of common ground and equality. Together, we have tried to capture this feeling through a setting that lends itself to communal gathering and discussion, and an environment that unites those within it by fostering conversation and contemplation.


By use of form, color, and material, we experiment in ways design can not only begin to dissolve hierarchy within the

arts collective, but also reinforce the responsibilities held by designers today— to each other, to our communities, to our climate, and to create spaces that allow for and encourage positive change.


Building on humankind’s complex and deep relationship with nature and with each other, responsibly-minded materials seem to rise out of the ground organically into a communal gathering circle that brings everyone onto the same plane. Invoking gathering points universal across cultures and time, the concept of the conversation pit is the embodiment of unity. 


Rising above the social connections happening below, the gentle slope of an open dome is created through soft layers of grasses that mimics flowing wheaten fields while echoing a sense of sanctuary, protection, spirituality, and

scale. Embracing a new dimension, this vertical display of unity in form helps to foster its own.


While initially organized in the concentric circle, the shared bench can be split into individual sections and reshaped

into new arrangements. Part of the idea behind this design concept is to observe and study the ways in which people

might actually use and interact with the environment and the objects within it.

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