What is it about?

The sleep environment is considered one of the most private spaces for humans, primarily linked to a home. As the main actant of the sleep environment, a bed is usually associated with a homely private space: the bedroom. However, when the sleep environment is outside and visible to the public gaze, its function evolves into an urban role. A rough sleeper's bed, as a symbolic reference to the materials placed in the public space, becomes an active part of urban life, a node where new interactions occur. Together with images of discarded mattresses left for public disposal and juxtaposed with the data based on sleep studies, this essay invokes the tension between the public and private domains of sleep.

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Why is it important?

The visual images represent the discomfort of a publicly exposed bed, narrating the rough sleepers’ experience: sleeping without the benefit of privacy or security.


This essay focuses on 'beds' out of place, offering a differentiated recognition of rough sleepers.

Demet Dincer
University of New South Wales

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Beds Without Rooms: Sleeping Rough, Journal of Interior Design, June 2022, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/joid.12219.
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