For more on emergency shelter practices, we suggest having a look at The sphere project Humanitarian Charter and Standards in Humanitarian Response.
To submit winning (or otherwise) inventions email:

Monday, 13 May 2013

Hexagons - not domes

Hexagons are good because bees use them to make honeycomb. However we haven't seen many vernacular houses which are hexagonal. There is also a video here.

Some odd designs from theguardian newspaper...

By popular request, we include this article from the guardian newspaper. This article "Humanitarian intent: Urgent Architecture from ecohomes to shelters – in pictures" highlights some designs.

The Reaction Housing System has not been used in an emergency, but the designers say the shelters could be used in 10 or more types of emergency. they are not cheap at an estimated US$5,000.

This wheely good idea is actually designed for homeless people and not emergencies - so maybe a bit unfair to include here...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Structural system = Skyhooks?

not sure about how this one stays up or how they chose this particular structural system - but it might have issues if an engineer had a look..

Another dome...

"Inspired by the Dymaxion vision of TH hero Bucky Fuller"....

bunkers on legs

safe bunkers

lego shelters

lego shelters - The idea is that these bulky plastic bricks are delivered, and contain a dose of food and water.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Paper / Cardboard shelters

Tried and failed to take off as a post disaster shelter in Rwanda (UNHCR 1999), Turkey (2000), Bhuj, India (2001) and Haiti (2010) - largely due to the fact that cardboard needed to be brought in to the affected areas. See for more.

Concrete canvas - not for airfreight

These shelters have had a lot of media coverage - but the weight (2MT) and water requirements (nearly 1MT) of these 25m2 structures makes them impractical for most humanitarian operations. Maybe ok for militaries who have much higher transportation budgets.

Friday, 1 October 2010

sewage pipe shelter and floating shelter

Another great idea for haiti - put families out to sea or use sewage pipes for shelters...
More on this idea can be found here:

Friday, 16 April 2010

Rebuild Haiti in 5 days

Lovely graphic - if only it were that simple. These prefabricated shelters only cost upwards from $14,000 (excluding transport) - it would be good to see what you could build with that money using traditional / normal materials...