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Collapsible solar powered shelters could provide homes for refugees



Every year thousands of people lose their homes for reasons such as climate change, natural disasters and domestic conflict. The sudden need to find shelter becomes essential for refugees but is often found with the use of tarps or basic tents. Such living conditions can become extremely poor and undignified.

Architect and designer, Abeer Seikaly, has designed a new kind of shelter that aims to improve the living conditions of refugees whilst also remaining portable. The striking design is comprised of structural woven fabric and is made to expand and contract vertically for mobility, rather like an origami lamp.

As well as being portable, the shelter has an outer solar-powered skin which converts the sun’s energy to electricity. This electricity is partly used to heat water kept in an above storage tank, which can be used to take showers. Water rises to the storage tank via a thermosiphoning system and is drained away to keep the shelter dry. Additionally, the inner skin has pockets which can be used for storage.

The designer hopes that these shelters will close the gap between need and desire for refugees, allowing them to build a respectable and private home, which they can also carry with them if needed.


woven shelter

Last modified on Tuesday, 07 April 2015 16:17

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