A participatory action research project on the housing crisis and cooperative housing models in Sunset Park.

In 2017, I was part of a participatory action research project on cooperative housing models in Sunset Park, led by Parsons School of Design and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (UHAB). Over a period four months, four teams of graduate students conducted intensive qualitative, quantitative, and participatory research with community members in Sunset Park to learn about affordable housing concerns and existing cooperative housing models. The outcome of this research was a multi-lingual educational gazette distributed throughout the community, featuring insights from the research process as well as four design strategies to combat displacement in Sunset Park. To increase accessibility, we also presented our research to community members at several workshops and gatherings in community spaces and gardens around Sunset Park.


For our design proposal, my team worked in collaboration with founding members of the Beyond Care childcare worker coop to strengthen Sunset Park’s cooperative ecosystem, nurturing new synergies between housing and worker cooperatives. Deeply grounded in the idea that those most impacted by displacement are the true experts on the topic, my team’s project was guided by the knowledge and experiences of the women of Beyond Care.