The Annual International Berkeley Undergraduate Prize for Architectural Design Excellence
Berkeley Prize 2024

[ID:1899] The utopia for homeless children!


The utopia for homeless children!

The past

I am a homeless child:

Tired of long hours of work, the summer heat, overcharging and lack of shade.

My search produces a result; an empty traffic police station becomes my shelter.

Yet, there is no shade, a kid runs into me “this place is mine!" a thin, sun burnt, seven-year old boy.

No surprise, I apologize of my usurping act and go away.

I know the rules of these homeless children because five years ago I was one f them and then quit.

I was their mayor; sun burnt, with curly hair, and nine years old.

The mayor of the third zone in “Flowers square “which we gave it the name “the square of braveness ".

When we defended our territory against enemies; the kids of wooden bridge in the country.

I was selling cigarettes but not to young children.

I never allowed over charging in my city, however I was a mayor and had a hard duty.

My work place was the beginning of a traffic light near the square.

My haunt was at the feet of a mosque and my house: no where!

I was weary of the monotony of my place and sensitive in choosing one!

My city had got every thing; water, food, police, architecture, security, regularity (low and order), dormitory and a swimming pool within a sewage.

The city belonged to me and all other homeless children, all of it: streets, squares, alley-ways, and gardens. Mosques, train stations, buses …

We laughed to adults and their stupidity for they thought the city belonged to them; they didn't see the children- the real owners of the city; all nights …

Our only poverty of my city was education and schools the only area of the city that was in the hands of occupiers.

Since the early history of my city, I said nothing about it but now I talk about my childhood desires which were not accomplished despite my braveness and ambitions of those times.

My utopia was a "school" a city that I wasn't even an ordinary and unknown citizen of it.

Windows with opaque glasses; the hunter children looking out the school cage and I with eyes, desirous for this captivity.

I never say my utopia was a city that all people even adults recognized it officially.

The city that I was its mayor, a city that a police of the same gender as of homeless children, created security.

A city with houses, mosques, schools and streets, a city that its adults called us obtrusive and we called them usurpers.

Those long years passed and I got retired because I wasn't a child any more! With great expectations with the hope of foundation of my new city, I stepped into a strange world.

I loved to be an architect; the founder of the cities from the beginning till now, so I became a worker, a construction worker, the firs step toward being an architect.

With the hope of that day and that ideal city.

The present

An avenue for future:

My country is a land of world heritage, the birthplace of east civilization.

Now we live in a society with modern and Islamic identity that lies in the most critical region of the world.

Here, besides of regional problems, like peace, talk between the civilizations, human rights and terrorism, we also confront with interior social, economical and cultural cases too.

Presenting of unique and new ways for the problems that everyday we confront in our society is inevitable as a precondition for solving national and international problems.

In such societies all the people are due to bring their nation near the world society by eradicating all barriers and Architects can be fruitful person in these situations They can take effective steps by the correct understanding of social problems and with a creative and critique look for them.


I’m an architect; a previous homeless boy, in search of an answer to my childhood's needs.

I am in search of a way that can persuade the citizens and urban managers to understand children, especially homeless ones.

Indeed, what brings the child and town to reach a harmony?

Is shelter the only treasure that a town can award a child?

Beside these questions, I am looking for solutions that free our town atmosphere from lack of creation and contents of childish architecture.

I am looking for a utopia for today homeless children and citizen of tomorrow! a town without tears, hunger and homelessness.

Can we build such an utopia, even a small one, in our town?


In the farthest end of my town, there is an old street named Golha(Flowers) where I spent my childhood.

A one-hundred-meter street with wide pavements, along with trees and chic shops on both sides of the street and people crawling in them-some for buying some for window-shopping and wasting time; old, young, women and men; people from all social class in a real urban space.

An avenue with short buildings around and a sun that always shines over it, a memorial of old Tehran.

A space that every alive town with alive people need it.

Here someday the town had homeless children, here someday was the center of people coming and going, but now because of the policies of municipality and peoples behavioural changes, it has turned in to a merely empty street with small shops that are rarely open waiting for a customer.

My street is the victim of a new junction of two important streets. The Golha (Flowers) square with it's statue "Baby and Mother", with a pool full of children, has given it's place to a junction for car and it's blinking pretty lamps have become traffic lights.

The happy and lively soul of my street is lost and I am responsible for it. I have to think and find economical methods so that urban managers would welcome it. I must give them a suggestion in order to find shelters for the homeless children and put the town in order.

A dream of utopia rambles in my mind, a utopia that is managed and run by the children themselves, and even they hold a meeting for adults and scatter catalogs among them. Understanding between the homeless children and citizens’ can be increased.

With this understandings and culture creating, the democratic atmosphere can be developed, an atmosphere in the town in which the town is active in itself, not like an orphan house deserted of town with high walls: like a prison.

Can it be possible to make such a town? The angels with me say yes, it can be.

An avenue certainly is the human first basis and a meeting place without ceiling and an inseparable element of the homeless children.

I like to watch the children in their own street and run it by them selves. The street of Flowers can become a educational and public place by the children, a place in which the children can work and teach together.

Some of the bigger shops face to the north are replaced with technical workshops and the shops facing the south with good air condition can be workshop for handicrafts like carpet making, some others change in to classes! Classes with the names of the lessons on their glasses and all the people even the ordinary children can sit on one bench beside the homeless ones; feeling secure.

Their teacher can be the previous homeless children, like me, that gained the high social, cultural and scientific degrees, because they know what to teach them for life. Yes! for life.

Of course we can't ignore the social Services, business and income which is the beating heart of the town.

Our school shouldn't be like a school that children learn Lessons which are not useful to them; in that case education is nothing but a barrier for them.

Children should feel the freedom in the class and lack of trust in the affairs is the cause of destroying confidence.

It is true, especially for the homeless children possessing an independent morale.

The school yard is the street; without Cars, some part of the yard (street) with a platform designed in it, is a place for showing "Street Arts". Homeless children can play roles, music, sign, do jugglery and even dance, in fact they are the best street artists, so this is the treasure both homeless children and citizens can take advantages of it.

Their accommodation is also important but I've planned for it too.

The mosque at the back of the street is a safe shelter for their night Sleep till I build a permanent residence for them by the help of a benevolent.

I'm sure the mosque can satisfy them for a short time as I used it during my childhood.

I contact with my friends who are mayors and in charge of homeless children.

I invite them to a café. They remind me of my adolescence, They are full of energy and new ideas and I hope I could be able to Accomplish my project by their help.

I explain to them the project of town child and promise them in case of undertaking this project; in future homeless children become the obliged members of the world society and the town will be in their hands.

It is their certain right.

So the street of Flowers will be changed into a place that education, Work, people and homeless children are all present in it.

The town managers will be happy because the life and commonality have returned to the town and some part of homelessness is settled.

The future

An avenue as large as the world:

Thirty years ago, I was retired from the chairman of the homeless children.

Despite this fact, I never forget the utopia for the homeless children.

Many years have passed now, tens of child town projects have been carried out in different parts of my town, my country and countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Indonesia…,

I am glad that most of them were successful.

Now our homeless children like other people have urban rights.

I am glad that many of the managers of today’s towns lived in these child towns. And who thought of the effect of our child towns to be so deep to conquer the world?

By the help of urban treasure and homeless children’s wealth we could build an avenue to the extension of the world.

This Louis i.kahn[1] saying comes to my mind: “The city is a place for joining of layers”

I am an architect, the previous homeless child, in search of an answer for new questions of the homeless children.

"Remember a day before today

A day when you where young

Renew a play along with time

Evening with a thyme


Why can't we play today

Why can't we stay that way

Climb your fatal apple tree

Try to catch the sun

Hide from your little brother's gun

Dream yourself away

Why can't we reach the sun

Why can't we blow the years away

Go away

Remember Remember…"[2]


1-Louis i.kahn(1901-1974).

2-Remember A Day Lyrics (Pink Floyd)

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