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As the place where life happens, the living room is a safe space where social functions play out that are central to the performance of human identity. In a city where space is at a premium, the living room is disappearing for not-housed and housed alike. Those living outside often find themselves without a place to exist during waking hours, with emergency shelter necessarily focusing on overnight accommodations. As such, there are precious few moments for social intimacy in a secure space where they are explicitly welcome. Those living inside also increasingly lack this kind of space, with market forces replacing private living rooms with for-rent amenity spaces and external spaces of consumption. This crisis of the Living Room offers a prompt for the questions this project explores.
With support from the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture and 4Culture, and in partnership with Facing Homelessness, The Living Room Project created by Sloan Dawson and Sara Zewde will stage a large outdoor living room installation in an alley that shares frontage with a number of non-profit organizations. The Living Room will be a day long place of creative engagement, casual interaction, and quite simply being.