Joan Desert is an ode to one of the first known woman-run design studios, started by the late great Eileen Gray. Now a celebrated designer and architect, she spent most of her life under-recognized, making objects mostly for herself and her family to live with. She designed and built her own home including just about every object inside of it, customizing the space to suit her needs. Eileen understood wholeheartedly the importance of having a space of one's own and how we aren't really able to be our whole selves without it.
"A house is not a machine to live in... it is the shell of a human. It is our release, our extension, our spiritual emancipation." - Eileen Gray
In this spirit, we are raising money and offering our time to help women facing extreme barriers to homeownership.
The life-changing benefits of affordable homeownership are immense: it improves school performance, decreases crime, improves financial outcomes, and enhances the health and well-being of children and adults – just to name a few. But due to gendered barriers like the pay gap and its impact on credit access, and uneven child care responsibilities that limit time and financial resources, it is far more difficult for women to become homeowners.
This October, we will join Chicago's Women Build month to help knock these barriers down. Alongside 450 other volunteers, we will raise $300,000 to help build new homes in the West Pullman neighborhood for women and their families with affordable mortgages.
Every donation - big, small, or somewhere in between - helps to build a strong, stable, and equal future.
Thanks for your support,
Team Joan Desert