Group 28

SPIN is a charitable organisation tackling the issues of homelessness and poverty. Whilst providing homeless people with food and shelter, SPIN also offers a variety of support to help its residents develop new skills. The programme enables vulnerable people to regain confidence and independence as well as introducing them to a supportive community. Our role will be to design and produce a prototype model for a multifunctional pod within SPIN’s grounds. The pod will promote conversation and activity between the residents and volunteers, and provide them with a quiet place to reflect.

Aslan Gabriel L / Natasha B / Laurence C / Liam Kristian C / Matthew C

Coming 28.04.2020
Posted 6 Mar 2020 17:36
Meet the SPINSPACE team!

Matt - Advanced Practice
Sonnemann Toon Architects
BArch: University of Lincoln
Most likely to not fit in the pod

Tasha - Advanced Practice
Julian Harrap Architects LLP
BA: The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL
Likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain

Laurence - Advanced Practice
b2 Architects
BA: University of Nottingham
Most likely to get the beers in

Aslan - Advanced Practice
BM3 Architecture Ltd
BA: University of Nottingham
Dislikes clapping when the plane lands

Liam - Advanced Practice
IBI Group
BA: Newcastle University
Likes long walks on the beach
Posted 10 Mar 2020 15:44
Meet our collaborator : SPIN

SPIN (Supporting People in Need) are a charitable
organisation based in Manchester, tackling the ongoing issue
of homelessness and poverty. Their mission is to help and support
vulnerable and socially-excluded people living in poverty and rough-sleeping
in the streets of Manchester. Their main focus is on the rehabilitation of people, educating the residents to get them back into working society.
Posted 10 Mar 2020 15:45
Through discussion with SPIN we are choosing some optional activities on Wednesday 29th April that may include a trip to Barnabus or the Booth Centre to learn about and potentially volunteer at some of the effective services available for homeless people.
Posted 10 Mar 2020 15:49
Manchester is at the sharp end of the national rise in homelessness. Across Greater Manchester, 5,564 people are homeless – 1,804 of these individuals are in the City of Manchester alone. It is worth remembering that this figure does not reflect the ‘hidden homeless’, those who sofa surf through friends and family. Greater Manchester is also considered to be an eviction and repossession hotspot. This problem is highest in Manchester and Salford, with approximately 1 in 62 households are at risk of repossession or eviction.

There is a growing divide between classes in Manchester. A quick gaze over the landscape shows luxury apartment blocks and multinational office space occupying almost the entirety of the construction sector. And down on the streets beneath these glass towers, people sleep in doorways, on benches and under flyovers. Whilst foreign money and overseas investment has indeed given the city a new lease of life, this has come at the expense of the lower social classes. These are the losers of gentrification, and if things don’t change soon, there are many more to come.

Manchester's spiralling homeless crisis is showing no signs of slowing down - with around 50 people PER DAY coming to the council for help. The situation is so bad that the authority is rapidly running out of emergency accommodation in hotels and B&Bs. Because of this, day services and outreach centres like SPIN are becoming heavily relied upon.
Posted 10 Mar 2020 16:09
Find out more about homelessness and soup kitchens in the UK via these links:

BBC Radio 4 - Podcast
Feeding the Problem

BBC iPlayer - Video
The Big Questions
Posted 10 Mar 2020 16:10
SPIN provides shelter for rough-sleepers and supports them on their journey back into society. SPIN manages activities and projects at THE WELL, a church housing 34 homeless men. SPIN’s main activity is supporting and educating the residents at THE WELL helping them back into working life. They also serve a delicious Sunday roast prepared for rough-sleepers and those living in dire poverty. Food, clothes and toiletries are given out throughout the week. As a condition of providing accommodation and food, the residents volunteer for FareShare, thereby establishing a good routine to get them ready for a working life.

As SPIN keeps growing, as does the number of people seeking the help and support provided. SPIN relies entirely on donations, with the team working for free, all of the money donated goes into refurbishing their centre and operating around Manchester, every penny is put to good use.


SPIN Video:
Posted 10 Mar 2020 19:45
To get you inspired, here are some Pod and Small Space Projects in the UK and abroad. What do you think is successful about these projects? Which elements would you take forward in your Pod design? How do you think the project helped people?

Amazing Grace Spaces
A pod for the homeless developed in Wales, the project not only provides shelter but support from the Amazing Grace Spaces community. What began as small pods has developed into starter homes made from recycled shipping containers.

Home for the Night
This double decker bus was renovated by Help Bristol's Homeless provides a bed for the night for the city's homeless. Although it is just a temporary solution, it can sleep 12 people, and long term the charity has also refurbished shipping containers.

Pop Up Hawse
Designed as halfway homes for the homeless, Levitt Bernstein designed these small homes for under £20,000 construction cost each. Through the HAWSE scheme (Homes through Apprenticeships With Skills for Employment), the houses themselves are built by the future tenants,

Zedpods are modular and environmentally friendly starter homes which can be built anywhere, even in a car park! This housing is affordable and targetted at first time buyers and those who wouldn't be able to nromally afford a house.

Feeling inspired? Join SpinSpace.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 14:02
The pod we design will need to be multifunctional and adaptable to all of
the different functions. Here are some requirements to consider:

The space will be available to all the residents to use as they wish. SPIN currently have a workshop where residents can learn carpentry skills, but the pod will be a space where they can learn alternative skills.

Part of the process at SPIN is talking through any issues the residents have with a trained professional or with the staff. Currently there is no space where they can talk privately, so this is an important function of the pod.

Residents will be able to use the pod as an additional social space, so plenty of seating and space is needed. SPIN is more than a bed for the night, its a community that many old residents return to and is part of what makes SPIN successful.

In addition to needing a quiet space to talk to staff, its important for the residents to have a space where they can reflect or simply have some time to themselves, something many residents miss about having their own home.

In addition to these four requirements, do you have ideas for more functions of the pod? Join SpinSpace and get creative!
Posted 19 Mar 2020 14:37
The Well has a number of possible locations for the pod, both internal and external. It will be your task to analyse the site to determine the pod’s best home.

SPIN originally started as a street kitchen, they were soon offered a project by the pastor of a local dilapidated Baptist Church in Ardwick, to regenerate said church into a sanctuary for the homeless, now known as the WELL. SPIN then brought the street kitchen indoors, in order to put a roof over our homeless friends while they eat in the cafeteria with proper cutlery and a warm environment. As the kitchen attracted more rough sleepers, SPIN started to focus on providing accommodation to said people. And now, the focus shifted to improving the Well in order to welcome more people in need.

One thing missing currently at the WELL is a quite space for the occupants to go and relax, reflect, work and talk in private.

A number of potential spaces have been earmarked for the Pod, but it will be up to you to decide which spot best suites your design and works well with the rest of the site.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 17:12
It is important that we gather together a well-rounded group of individuals who will positively aid the design development journey. As architecture students, we expect a lot of you to have a rich repertoire of skills suitable for our EVENT. The module is short (under two weeks!) so we must hit the ground running, and for that, ensuring that you tick the boxes above is a must! We look forward to working with a fantastic team.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 17:18
Throughout the first week you will be working in smaller groups to first produce initial Pod concepts for our design competition. Presenting to our collaborators at the WELL, a winner will be voted for, as a whole group the following week we will focus on producing a detailed construction manual, accompanied by a 1:20 physical model of the final Pod design, enabling the reader to fully construct the pod from start to finish.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 20:00
To aid in the creation of the manual we will be holding small tutorials on the programs you may need for the project and your future, we also help further your model making skills.

Programs utilised:

Auto Cad
Sketch UP
Posted 19 Mar 2020 20:02

Week 1 is all understanding homelessness from the inside out, speaking to charities, external speakers and residents of the Supporting People In Need hostel. Homelessness is an issue across the country, though is particularly prevalent here in Manchester. We hear a lot about it, though by speaking with those involved we can understand the difficulties of sleeping rough and look at what charities are doing to curb homelessness.

Building upon the knowledge and understanding gained, we will host a design competition within the Event where the winning design will be taken forward the following week. The design competition will be held at the collaborator’s premises where we are encouraging the community to get involved in the presentations and the voting. By the end of this week you will have engaged with multiple charities and beneficiaries, produced designs and models for a proposed quiet space, and gained inside perspectives on a wide social issue.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 20:12

The second week will be fast-paced. You will have the opportunity to decide which skills you would like to further, whether you enjoy drawing, creating models or curating graphic designs or publications. The winning design will be thought out and drawn up in detail through the form of 1:5 models and working plans, sections and elevations. The construction manual produced will be given to the client so their residents can learn to construct the small space themselves. A final presentation will be a celebration of everyones hard work in creating a great proposal. Ultimately, you will be able to provide your expertise to a worthy cause where your designs and skills will make a real difference.
Posted 19 Mar 2020 20:12
On Wednesday 29th April we invite Dominic Sagar for a talk on social housing in which he will discuss the current housing crisis and potential creative solutions to the lack of social housing.
Posted 20 Mar 2020 19:26

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has posed many questions and provided uncertainty for the vulnerable and at risk. Where do the homeless fit into this? Are we equipped to provide safe shelter for rough sleepers who could potentially have been infected? New laws are reportedly giving the police the power to arrest anyone with the virus not self-isolating indoors, though there is a lack of sympathy for those without a place to stay. Communities and charities are doing all they can to help the homeless, though, should the authorities be put into question? It is times like these that highlight the vulnerability and apparent segregation of those without a bed.
Posted 23 Mar 2020 09:23
In the first week there will be an optional activity to visit and volunteer at Barnabus in the city centre.

Barnabus is a christian charity with the aim to give love, hope and support to those in need. A drop in session provides showers, clothes, food and a variety of activities. Support workers offer 1-2-1 support helping to empower their friends.

As well as activities and workshops, Barnabus provides opportunities to work and relax with their upcycling furniture and allotment to look after. These projects help people learn skills to get back into employment whilst also providing spaces to relax and make friends.
Posted 23 Mar 2020 11:23
"Greater Manchester Housing First (GMHF) is a three-year pilot project that aims to provide safe, secure homes for more than 400 people who are homeless or at the risk of being homeless across the region."

"The Housing First approach was first developed in New York in 1992. It has since been widely adopted in the USA and become central to the national homelessness strategies in Canada, Denmark, Finland and France, demonstrating widespread success."

"Through the provision of intensive, flexible and person-centred support, evidence shows that 70-90% of Housing First residents are able to remain housed. Having a place to call home also leads to improvements in health and wellbeing, and reduces ineffective contact with costly public services."
Posted 23 Mar 2020 11:32
We hope you are all managing to cope with the changes made to every-day life, it is not an easy time for anyone. Of course, we are upset to cancel our EVENTS20 project, it was something all of us masters students were looking forward to. SPIN is a charitable organisation who dramatically improve the lives of countless members of the Mancunian community. After meeting leading figures within the SPIN team, we were taken back by their operation and were truly inspired to do whatever we could to help.

Because of this motivation, we are not backing out on SPIN. Once the Covid-19 threat has been officially countered (to the levels where governmental departments are removing the temporary restrictive laws on movement and social distancing) we shall be organising an unofficial phoenix project.

Us at SPINSPACE would like to extend an invitation to you all. If anyone would like to participate in a one-off student-led scheme benefitting everyone involved, please feel free to send an email expressing your interest to

We wish everyone the best of luck with their remaining studies this academic year, and thank you all for taking the time to read our blog. We hope to see you soon.
Posted 23 Mar 2020 19:18