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June 25, 2013
Our Dwell on Design artist-in-residence Tanya Aguiñiga spent all weekend on the show floor with her team of artisans, who, along with hundreds of show attendees, created move-in kits for the formerly homeless and recently housed people of downtown Los Angeles. Consisting of a table, stool, art piece, and handmade blanket, the kits will be donated this week to People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), who will immediately place them in shelters and permanent housing for people recently on the streets of Los Angeles. “This is an opportunity to bring attention to issues in our own community through craft and design, and to try and create a template for other cities and homeless-aid organizations to use in assisting individuals who are placed in permanent housing,” says Aguiñiga. “These will be among the first, or the first, possessions for many recently housed people,” says Tessa Madden of PATH, who collaborated on the endeavor with United Way Los AngelesTanya Aguiñiga, and Dwell on Design.
Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Aguiñiga’s fellow artists prepare the crocheted blankets sent in by knitters from all over the country.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Paint was available for Dwell on Design attendees to use for the artworks. “Residents ask for art for their walls to brighten up their spaces,” says Aguiñiga.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

The hands-on, DIY process included bolting the tables and stools together.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

The drying rack awaits more artworks.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Attached to each blanket is a tag that says “Welcome to your new home,” and in some cases, a personal note from the maker.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

The wood planks, before they became part of the stools and tables.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Metal framing was used to bind the tables and stools.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Rolls of yarn for use with the knitting machine.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

An artist finishes the ends of a blanket.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

A pair of volunteers puts a table together.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Attendees receive a quick lesson on knitting.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

The knitting machine in action.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Volunteers smooth the sides of the wood squares to prep them for the next steps.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

The finished kits, including a table, stool, artwork, checkered tablecloth, and a blanket.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

“The blankets add a touch of warmth and home,” says Aguiñiga.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Many blankets included a personal note from the maker. This one reads: “Welcome Home! Made from acrylic yarn. Hope you enjoy this for many wonderful years! Love! Joy! Health! Happiness! Peace!”

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Aguiñiga shows off one of the handmade checkerboard mini canvas tablecloths. “We created these because homeless-aid organizations have constant requests for them because the residents want companionship and recreational activities,” she notes.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

The kits sit ready to be distributed to people via PATH this week.

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Tanya Aguiñiga at Dwell on Design 2013

Aguiñiga’s fellow artists prepare the crocheted blankets sent in by knitters from all over the country.

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