Who does not dream of welcoming and affordable housing communities? One such dreamer is Claire Coletti who did her graduation and masters in Architecture from Northeastern University. Coletti belongs to the transgender community and believes that it is her unique vision that drives her to explore inclusive architecture. It is her desire for leading a “normal life” that has helped her in her field of work.
She says, “There is a huge part of me that has to reckon with the notion that I have this really internal desire to have that husband and kids and dogs and the white picket fence—all those things, and it’s like, why do I want that so badly? Why do we as a culture want that so badly?”
She was brought up in Florida with her twin sister, an art student who also went to Northeastern. When she was studying at Humboldt University in Germany she was inspired by the idea of baugruppen, meaning “group build” and opened her own co-operative housing concept named BauBau. She decided to work for the middle-class community who were overwhelmed by the prices of high-end urban housings.
Coletti presented her idea at the Falling Walls Lab Boston and it was an achievement in itself. About being a transgender, she has often faced certain anxious situations. She says, “Frankly, talking to a room full of people doesn’t scare me as much as walking out my front doors, talking in front of 100 people is less dangerous than just walking down the street.”
She was one of the 18 finalists at the Northeastern’s Raytheon Amphitheater and secured third place for an affordable and enriching urban proposal. Coletti wishes to earn grants and fellowships to give shape to her dream and also give people an experience of belongingness, ownership, and get a sense of homeliness. She believes that buildings are not just defined by their exterior and design but also the ones living inside them.