Australian design company Sibling has developed a “Walking Shelter” that allows you to bring a tent with you wherever you go. The whole tent is stored inside netted compartments in the backs of your shoes!
The portable shelter expands out and around the body to form an enclosure around whoever has the shoes on. It relies on the human frame as the supporting structure and can be customized by the user to adapt to a variety of contexts and environments. The shelter is perfect for hikers, campers, or preppers who want a unique shelter that is easily portable.
The project was developed as a conceptual prototype as part of an auction where all proceeds are going to benefit the Little Seeds Big Trees charity. If you are looking for a very portable shelter option that will make sure you never find yourself in a situation without protection, the Walking Shelter is the perfect product for you!
Shigeru Ban has been creating buildings out of recycled paper since 1986. He has built shelters and buildings, some permanent, completely out of paper all over the world. His DIY paper shelters are used after natural disasters around the globe.
Shigeru first started experimenting with his paper tube structures after he finished studying at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Cooper Union’s School of Architecture in 1984. The paper tubes he uses to create his portable shelters are the same ones found in textile factories. Shigeru found that the tubes were much stronger than he imagined and were very easy to waterproof and fireproof. The paper tubes were low-cost and reliable, making them the perfect material for his architectural ideas.
At first Shigeru’s designs came in more of an art form. He created magnificient buildings out of the paper tubes that people would flock to see. He built a church, homes, and even built himself a paper office because he could not afford to rent one. Many of his structures were meant to be recycled, but became permanent fixtures because of their popularity. His focus shifted when he saw that his design could be used for emergency shelters in disaster situations.
Shigeru’s emergency shelters were first used in 1994 for refugees in Rwanda. The next year, after an earthquake in Japan, he used his paper materials to rebuild a local church that became a local fixture for 10 years.
Firefighters risk their lives every time they are called to put out a fire. Just like the Navy has their Seal team, firefighters have the Hot Shots. The Hot Shots are an elite group of firefighters who often hike for miles into the wilderness and build lines of protection between people and fires. Sometimes they are forced to stay in the field for days at a time. A new portable shelter is being used to help save their lives in extreme fire situations.
There are hundreds of Hot Shot crews across the country. One crew from Arizona, the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, lost 19 of its 20 members recently while battling a wildfire sparked by lightning. This particular crew undergoes 80 hours of training each year and must stay in peak physical condition. Even with the best training, fires can still be deadly. Emergency portable shelters are the last line of defense for firefighters battling wildfires. These cocoon-like shelters take only seconds to deploy and completely surround the firefighter.
Once deployed, the portable shelter allows firefighters trapped in a fire to breathe their own air. The fire shelter is designed to reflect heat and allow the firefighter to breathe clean air. However, if temperatures reach 500 degrees, the glue that bonds the layers begins to break down. When using the portable shelter, it will still be hot, you won’t be able to breathe normally, but it allows the firefighter to stay alive.
The emergency shelter is definitely a last resort. Many of the Hot Shots crews are required to carry them with them on missions. If a firefighter must deploy the shelter, something has gone wrong. However, many trapped firefighters have survived because of the shelters, staying inside them anywhere between five and 90 minutes. In the case of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, experts say the intensity of the Arizona fires would have been too much for even the emergency shelters to have saved their lives.
All too often people are displaced by poverty, war, and natural disasters. Most of the time, those people end up taking refuge in canvas tents that aren’t designed for long term use. The Ikea Foundation recently unveiled a new flat-pack shelter that has a modular design and solar panel to help improve living conditions for people who are in need of emergency shelter.
The shelter was part of a two year project being conducted in collaboration with the Swedish Housing Unit and the UN Refugee Agency. The prototype flat-pack shelter created by Ikea is modular and easy to transport and assemble. The whole shelter comes flat-packed, allowing for easier and cheaper transportation. The portable shelter is made of a metal frame with stiffening wires to support walls and roofs made of lightweight plastic panels. Unlike other emergency shelters, Ikea’s has an aluminized shade that reflects heat to regulate the inside temperature. The aluminized shade helps keep the shelter cooler during the day and warmer at night. The shelter also has a solar panel that powers a built-in light and USB port.
Ikea says that the portable building takes only four hours to construct and will last three years. The shelter will provide better security and ventilation than other relief shelters available. The shelter will be tested on Somali refugees and their feedback will be used to improve on the design. Currently it costs $10,000 to make one of the prototype shelters, but Ikea hopes they can reduce the price to under $1,000 when mass produced.
There have been many natural disasters in the past few years that have devastated many places. Emergency preparedness has become a big issue because of this. There are several apps that have been launched in the past year to give people the ability to extend their preparation further and help them be alerted when disasters may strike.
The American Red Cross has created six mobile apps that smartphone users can download. They are for;
• Shelter Finder
• First Aid
These apps give people the ability to more easily access information dealing with emergencies and natural disasters. Many people are preparing for natural disasters by stocking up on food, purchasing portable shelters, and creating emergency kits. Right now is hurricane season in Louisiana and residents can use the hurricane app to receive updates on hurricane warnings. The hurricane app monitors local conditions and will help aid in storm preparations. There is even a feature that allows users to find help or let others know they are safe.
The apps can even function if cell towers go down, just on a lesser scale. Apps like the ones created by the Red Cross can be a valuable aid during a natural disaster. Being able to prepare better and find shelter during a disaster could be the difference between life and death.
Unfortunately, the increase in natural disasters around the world has created a need for rapidly deployable emergency housing. While many portable shelter designs have been put into production in the last decade, this one may be the best one yet. In terms of being able to airdrop and quickly deploy emergency housing for large numbers of people, Peter Anthony’s design is top-notch.
Peter Anthony’s collapsible, lightweight mobile platform is a self-contained living space made from composite material. Each unit is 8’x8’x8’ and weighs less than 200 pounds. The whole thing can be folded flat and can be assembled by two people in less than 30 minutes. The simple transport trailer can be modified to carry up to four units along with off-grid support systems that tether with the shelters for extended use.
Anthony has been a professional building designer for twenty years, but with the housing market down, has moved his focus to creating portable emergency housing. “The whole thing started from my desire to get involved in supporting relief efforts with disasters throughout the world,” Anthony said. Weight was his primary design and development concern and his patent-pending lightweight composite panel system makes assembly quick and easy.
“The shelter is simple, lightweight and portable. Traditional materials and methods have historically shown significant weakness, being complex and requiring skilled labor to assemble, being extremely heavy, nearly all of them necessitate additional erection equipment and they’re costly in relation to energy consumption and transport and logistics.” – Peter Anthony
Anthony’s design is adaptable to many situations, ranging from emergency sheltering to mobile treatment stations. The applications of the portable shelter are only limited by the imagination. Its lightweight and folding design allow it to be airdropped into remote locations that are in need. Anthony is still working on the project, hoping to expand and make it better by adding a self-contained dry toilet. When it is completed, it will surely be one of the best portable emergency housing systems created to date.