Ikea unveils ‘trauma-informed design’ for small house living

LIVE OAK, Texas – Ikea U.S. this week opened an in-store model of a permanent supportive housing unit (a.k.a., a small home) built with sustainable materials and using the principles of trauma-informed design.

The model, located inside the retailer’s Live Oak, Texas, store, reflects what Ikea describes as an “empathy-based approach” to creating spaces that consider the needs of individuals who have experienced trauma.

“There are an estimated 3,155 people experiencing homelessness the San Antonio area, so it’s crucial that we as Ikea do our part to create environments that support healing, reduce the risk of re-traumatization and promote overall well-being for all occupants,” said Keena Garcia, Ikea Live Oak market manager.

To bring the model to life, Ikea worked with the WestEast Design Group, a San Antonio-based architecture and interior design firm that specializes in projects addressing homeless facilities, child advocacy centers and affordable housing communities. Ikea also collaborated with Towne Twin Village, a local organization committed to ending chronic homelessness through a combination of  tiny homes, apartments and RVs.

After the in-store phase of research is completed, Ikea plans to use the findings to construct a small home built with trauma-informed design principles that will be donated to a local permanent supportive housing community in San Antonio. Working with WestEast Design Group’s Social Impact Studio, it will then measure outcomes from individual(s) living in the space and gather data which will aid in advocating for a trauma-informed approach.

Ultimately, the project hopes to create an industry standard for developing affordable, supportive housing spaces that promote and maintain a path towards healing and stability.

“A home is more than a physical space, it’s where we are able to find comfort, peace and a sense of belonging,” said Sam Eisenman, sustainability business partner at Ikea U.S.

See also:

  • Ikea doubles up in North Carolina metro market, adding new smaller format store
  • EV stations are latest way Ikea expands environmental impact

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