2017 is already off to a rumbling start, and so is design aimed at smoothing things out. To address the rising international refugee crisis, IKEA's nonprofit wing has rolled out production for their Better Shelter project. As life gets more unstable for the 65 million displaced refugees around the world, the Better Shelter design brief was a stable one. Make a better shelter, cheaper. First demoed in 2013, the shelter is finally here, and the world is ready for it.
Building on their earlier designs, the final result is weatherproof, flat packing, assembled in four hours, and intended to house five people. The structure is made of three main parts: a frame, panels, and a solar power system for indoor lighting.
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Based on the readily available shelters distributed by the UN, the Better Shelter aimed to be more durable, protective, and cost-effective. A tough goal but if anyone could do it, IKEA has the chops. They're already in use around the world as relief centers, medical shelters, and housing.
Here's the impressive way they come together.
30,000 are already in use, and getting positive reviews. Given their recent win of the Beazeley Design of the Year, and MoMA's acquisition of one for their permanent collection, the feel good project warms the hearts of design wonks too. Too bad we won't be using many in the U.S.