Freedom By Design is our non-profit community service program that uses the talents of architecture students to impact the lives of people in their community through modest design and construction solutions. Freedom by Design allows anyone to volunteer regardless of their skills or ability. It is designed to give students of all levels experience in the design build process.

In 2020 the Denver City Council approved a measure to allow sanctioned camps, also known as a “safe outdoor space” (SOS), to be established within the city limits. There are plenty of rules, regulations, and permitting constraints, but the Denver-based non-profit organization Colorado Village Collaborative (CVC) has partnered with the City of Denver to fund, setup, and manage SOS locations. Since the winter of 2020, CVC’s SOS locations have provided temporary shelter for 30 to 50 residents at each site. Currently three SOS locations are operational, two more SOS locations are expected to open by June, and additional SOS locations will hopefully open before the end of the year. The CU Denver AIAS Freedom by Design project for 2021-2022 is focused on socio-economic barriers related to housing and supporting people that are experiencing homelessness. CU Denver AIAS FBD has partnered with CVC to design solutions to improve the quality of life for people living in Denver’s SOS locations, in particular, FBD is designing and building a new shelter prototype to be used for future SOS locations.

FBD tasks that you can help with, email with the tasks you want to manage or support

  • Construction document preparation: complete by February 26th, detail drafting, modeling, product specifications, connect with architects and structural engineers to review plans

  • Material sourcing: complete by March 3rd, buying materials, tracking purchases, coordinate material pickups and deliveries

  • CNC file preparation: complete by March 3rd, Rhino file management, maximize material efficiency, setup of the Rhino CAD files for plywood CNC production

  • Assembly instructions design: complete by March 4th, think of Ikea assembly instructions but way better because we are creative design people, revise as needed after the shelter assembly is complete

  • CNC milling logistics: March 4th, work in the Annex Fab Lab on milling day, move material, confirm labeling, confirm piece counts, organize for assembly, clean up during/after milling)

  • Assembly first day: March 5th, this cannot be anyone that worked on the construction documents or assembly instructions, we need fresh eyes and hands to test how well the shelter design translates to building, track total hours assembling the structure and envelope

  • Assembly second and third day: March 11th & 12th IF needed, finish assembly if anything was not completed the week before

  • Performance evaluation inspection and report: March 13th through 29th, inspect the shelter during the three week period, document any failures, document performance in various weather conditions, prepare a report for the city submittal documents

  • Final presentation: March 30th, prepare and deliver a presentation to participants, supporters, the client, and public attendees about the project process and final shelter construction, host a discussion with the attendees, think of this as a public final jury

  • Open house event: March 30th, setup, attend, and cleanup an open house event at CAP prior to the final presentation, this is an opportunity for the client, participants, and public to physically get in the shelter and see what FBD created

  • City submittal document preparation: April 8th submission, prepare the documentation for the City of Denver Building and Zoning departments, Fire Department, Health Department

  • FBD project documentation: complete by May 7th, prepare a complete documentation packet for National AIAS/FBDAC (Freedom by Design Advisory Committee), declared FBD projects are required to be submitted to the national body for record keeping, this is the project portfolio and can be used by the team seeking grants

  • Grant applications, grant writing: seek funding to produce 30-50 shelters for a future SOS location, grants are for material purchasing, prototype fabrication, and product development

  • Future shelter design development: commit to the 2022-2023 FBD team, commit to working on the project over the summer and fall, study the initial prototype and develop the design to improve the shelter, source improved materials, and support efforts to fabricate shelters for a future SOS location

  • AIAS and FBD board: run for the AIAS board (AIAS President candidate must be a former board member), run for FBD Director (FBD Director must have a letter of recommendation from CAP faculty), commit to being an active AIAS member

Useful Information from Colorado Village Collaborative

A student-run, community-service program radically impacting Denver through design, construction, and engagement