Day Labor Station
Role:Project Director, Designer
A project of Public Architecture
Over 110,000 people look for day labor work each day in the US. Their role in the informal economy has forced them to occupy spaces meant for other uses, such as street corners and home improvement store parking lots. These sites are far from being ideal; their presence in spaces designated for other uses means that they often lack even the most basic of amenities (shelter, water, restrooms). In recent years, the immigration debate has also politicized hiring sites.
The Day Labor Station was an innovative design and advocacy campaign that worked with day laborers across the country as clients and seeks to address critical issues of space, dignity, and community. The structure is adaptable, based on the realities of the ways in which the day labor system operates. It provides a sheltered space for the day laborers to wait for work as well as community resources such as a meeting space and classroom.
Though never built, the project proved an effective advocacy tool for the National Day Labor Organizing Network and a much cited inspirational project within the architectural community. It was featured in the “Design for the Other 90%” exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in 2007 and awarded the 2009 Global Innovation Prize by the Holcim Foundation.