+Connect focuses on making change in both the social and physical infrastructure of our community. We seek to help changemakers in their effort to make a difference on important issues such as housing affordability, urban planning, educational access, and social justice through the help of design. Leveraging our experience, knowledge, network, and skills, we have contributed to the following organizations and initiatives within Metro Denver.
The Colorado Village Collabortive (CVC) creates self-governed, small home communities for people exiting homelessness in Colorado. +Connect has recently partnered to design a tiny house prototype that can become a module for CVC to build.
For the Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver, an organization focused on building and selling homes to hard-working people in need, our team has provided ongoing support. For this particular duplex project the SA+R team designed marketing material in support of their effort.
Our pursuit of ADUs as a solution to Denver’s housing crisis has continued in partnership with the West Denver Renaissance Collaborative (WDRC). The +Connect team provided marketing material for an ADU pilot program to help qualified homeowners design, finance, and build an ADU in their neighborhood.
The University of Colorado's Denver Opportunity Fund was created to raise money for architecture students to increase diversity in our profession. SA+R's Cesar Olivas-Muñoz orchestrated this first-of-its-kind fundraising effort.
Building from our relationship with the City of Denver, we collaborated with Denver Community Planning and Development to find solutions for integrating new housing into existing neighborhoods.
The +Connect team crafted a video to help explain to community members how Accessory Dwelling Units can be a valuable solution to Denver's housing price and availability challenges. The video was shared at neighborhood meetings around Metro Denver and helped facilitate the growing discussion.
The 16th Street Mall Prototyping Festival served as a public platform to experiment with, and showcase, innovative ideas that can transform our downtown streets. We designed and constructed an interactive sculpture that we then donated to a local school.
In 2016 the City of Denver launched an annual summit to provide an opportunity for residents and leaders to convene and discuss policy tools and investment strategies.
Our team was invited by the Mayor to participate in the Summit and drive the conversation forward on ADUs. We facilitated a design charrette focused on the topic, alongside other small-scale housing strategies.
The AIA Housing Committee launched as a platform for the design community to get active in the housing crisis at play Denver. SA+R's significant involvement in this group ultimately became the catalyst for +Connect as it is today, where we dove into the social and physical challenges underlying the topic. With a deeper understanding of community perspectives in hand, and SA+R Principal Jesse Adkins serving as co-chair of the committee, it wasn't long before the incremental solution of the accessory dwelling unit began to crystalize as a viable plan worthy of championing.
Our history connecting with communities goes back a long way, but in 2011-2013 we had the opportunity to work with the Denver Housing Authority on a part of the Mariposa affordable housing community where we first began this journal toward +Connect. We learned a great deal from a concerted focus on the community engagement process, and most importantly about the depth of challenges behind the solutions for housing affordability.