|Photo: Tina Hovsepian|
The architect is the inventor of Cardborigami -- the collapsable, transportable and origami-inspired personal shelter she started inventing as a University of Southern California student in 2007. What started as Hovsepian's academic assignment has become a feasible way to alleviate homelessness in her hometown of Los Angeles.To support Cardborigami, click here.
Hovsepian -- who is currently raising funds to expand her product onto the streets of L.A. -- was honored at a Women in the World event on March 18 for the design, and was awarded the Toyota Driving Solutions grant of $50,000 to further her work helping the homeless.
As she explained at the event, Hovsepian was moved to advocate for those in need after studying abroad in Cambodia, where her program helped redesign an impoverished school.
"It was... the first time witnessing firsthand third world poverty, and it got me really thinking about how privileged I am to be able to live in America, in Los Angeles, have an education, have supportive... people around me," she said in a video produced by Women In The World, noting homelessness on Skid Row "is worse than [in] any third world country," because the U.S. has the resources to do something about it.