Tian Zhao

Master of Interior Design

Not available for contact

Contact student

NB. Views and opinions of students in the degree show are their own and do not represent the views of the University.


Homeless people exist in every country. In 2018, according to a survey conducted by the British charity Shelter 320,000 people are homeless in the UK, 13,000 more than the previous year. 

Before the 20th century, Britain had enacted many laws and aid policies for the homeless. For example, it is required to provide housing support to the homeless. Although the UK is trying to reduce the number of homeless people in all aspects, the number continues to grow.

In recent years, due to the increasing number of homeless sleeping on the street, it has often been reported on the news how these people are being frozen to death during the cold winter months, alongside violent attacks carried out by mindless individuals. 

In contrast to this, according to records held by the government, more than 200,000 homes in England were recorded as empty for at least six months during 2016. These houses are also referred to as ‘ghost homes’. The question that arose from this was, ‘why don’t we use vacant dwellings to create a safe space for the homeless?’

My proposal is to design a community by re-purposing a vacant building located in the heart of Preston’s city center, near Winckley Square. That will serve the homeless and offer the occupants an opportunity to rebuild their lives. This project is envisioned as the second phase of the return of the homeless back into society. Some homeless people who are dependent on drugs and alcohol would be directed towards a specific area for treatment and psychological counseling before joining the second phase program. 

My aim to highlight this issue and bring more social attention to the homeless and facilitate their eventual return to society.