Nancy is an aspiring multidisciplinary creative driven by curiosity and passion for design and the human experience. She possesses an innate desire to create and design with the intention of evoking a sense of wonder and discovery. With competition awards for her design ranging from furniture design, graphic design and universal design, she strives to continue to learn the many aspects and realms design has to offer.
PURR is a proposed feline rescue hub dedicated to the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition. Their mandate is to reduce feral & stray cat over-population through advocacy & strategic TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) programs to tackle the homeless cat issue in Toronto. This proposal aims to create a platform to articulate the mission through education, advocacy and awareness. The design is based on the concept of redefining the relationship between humans and cats using the environment and architecture as a resource. The space design focuses on three major factors: form, accessibility, and interaction. Inclusivity allows the space to be accessed by everyone regardless of age, gender or ability and brings the community together.
Rationale and Design Narrative
Feline euthanasia are on the rise due to the lack of awareness, management, and advocacy towards the stray/feral cat population in Toronto. The number of cats that enter a shelter are at a greater rate than they can find a home. There is a lack of design considerations & stimulants that satisfies the needs of rescue organizations. If the design of the rescue facility is altered into a space that enhances the well-being and mental health of both feline and humans, participation from the community, and productivity of workers would increase while stress factors would decrease.
Design Connection to Research
The main objective for the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition is to reduce feral & stray cat over-population through advocacy & strategic TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) programs to tackle the homeless cat issue in Toronto. The goal is to have a designated feline rescue hub used to create a platform to articulate the mission of TNR. This will enable an interactive community space that offers educational classes and seminars, reading programs, workshops, and a workspace for all. This proposal aims to promote the well-being of both humans and cats simultaneously through the use of natural materials while intended for users of all ages, so the materials palette is to be kept minimal, sustainable, and with a touch of playful and energetic colours.
Character of Space
Conceptually, the proposed design is intended to reflect an immersive, playful, organic, and simple experience. The goal of the new rescue facility is to strive away from the traditional and expected interiors and design, but rather propose something new, fun and exciting. This approach is meant to enhance the experience for the rescue works, rescued cats, and visitors. The concept of dynamism was explored within the proposed design. The natural behaviour, instincts, and personality of cats are almost always dynamic and wild— the same can be said about the process of rescue work, it is never linear. This inspired the process to develop a playful and explorative architecture that gives a sense of movement, curiosity, and interactions for both cats and visitors.
The space planning of PURR was divided into three areas; explore, learn, and help. The explore areas is where one first starts, the reception, the social spaces, the first interactions in the playhouse, and the adoption office to consult how to get started with the adoption process. The learn spaces are the next steps in gaining more knowledge and information about the foundation and cause. These spaces include the cat hubs for a more private meet and greet, the classrooms that teach how to foster or take care of stray/feral cats, and the workshop that teaches how to build winter cat shelters. The help spaces include the spay/neuter clinic and proposed coffee shop called The Purrfect Cup. These spaces are an additional feature to the rescue organization to be able to generate more funding.