For the Love of People November 14, 2022

This empathic design solution gives Angelenos without a home a dignified place to sleep

Photo of a modular bed unit designed for homeless shelters

In 2020 alone, over 66,000 people in Los Angeles County experienced homelessness—a number that’s been steadily on the rise and compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. Ward Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), a local nonprofit focused on housing affordability, job creation, and community-building, set out to help. Its goal was to provide a humane sheltering solution to alleviate some of the hardships of homelessness, like lack of privacy and storage, physical and emotional discomfort, and forced separation from beloved pets.

Photo of architect at a whiteboard designing DOME, a modular, stackable sleeping unit.
With DOME, Perkins&Will designer Yan Krymsky aimed to alleviate a multitude of stresses on homeless shelters and their occupants.

By summer 2022, WEDC’s newest interim housing facility—King Solomon Village—was complete. What makes this shelter different is what’s inside: 100 installations of DOME, a new modular, stackable sleeping unit that features a 6-foot privacy wall, lockable storage, an outlet and USB port, and an optional canopy for enhanced privacy.

Designed by Perkins&Will specifically for interim and emergency housing, and manufactured by Shield, DOME adds comfort and dignity to the lives of Angelenos living without a permanent home. It’s the first of its kind to be installed in any shelter in the U.S.

“We really did design DOME with care and love, because we saw with our own eyes how unlivable shelter conditions often are,” says Yan Krymsky, one of the bed’s designers. “WEDC’s King Solomon Village is revolutionizing the shelter experience by humanizing it. We’re proud to call them our partners.”

“Discovering DOME played a key role in our decision to press forward with the new shelter. It’s our hope that it sets a precedent.”
Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, WEDC President

While some of the sleeping unit’s materials changed in response to budgetary constraints—interim housing facilities have severely limited financial resources—the version of the DOME beds installed at King Solomon Village are still a major upgrade to standard shelter sleeping conditions. By all accounts, they have already provided an enhanced quality of life for King Solomon’s temporary residents.

Interested in having DOME installed in your local shelter? Visit