Utne Blogs > Science and Technology

The Comfort of Home In Emergency Housing

by David Doody


Tags: molo design, molo, softshelter, disasters, Hurricane Katrina, emergency housing, design, science and technology, Inhabitat, David Doody,

molo-design-film-softshelter 

Molo, a design firm based in Vancouver, BC, Canada has come up with a way to give privacy to individuals and families forced to live in temporary shelters—like community centers or the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina—after disasters strike their communities. The product, softshelter, “is a system for creating personal space within a larger shelter area in order to provide…a sense of privacy and encourage community-building in the days following a disaster.” The honeycomb walls are collapsible, easily expandable, can be molded into a variety of shapes, and connect to more pieces by concealed magnets. But they’re not just walls for dividing people; Molo is also attempting to bring some comforts of home into these stressful situations. Lori Zimmer at Inhabitat explains:

To help humanize disaster victims’ spaces, Molo created a set of personal effects that help make a temporary shelter more homey. Magnetic clips enable pictures to be hung, hanging vases bring foliage to the room, moveable hooks can hang towels and clothing, large pockets enable personal items to be displayed and a hanging LED light provides lighting when none other is available, and a hook up for a 12V power system can also be added when power is available.

The structure won this year’s Dwell Modern World Awards in the “Create” category. One of the Molo team members will actually be living in one of these structures within the design company’s workshop from now until September, so that they can actually get a feel for how the structure will work. You can follow that experience at their softshelter journal.

Source: Molo, Inhabitat 

Image is from a video about softshelter. Click the image to play video.  

charla doughty
8/1/2011 9:30:44 AM

FEMA? Are you listening?