The Humble Tent, Redesigned for Disaster Relief

In the wake of a disaster, supplying shelter to the displaced is crucial. Taking its aesthetic cues from a tent (albeit a forward-thinking, futuristic one), the unfolding disaster relief shelters of German interior design firm Form-Al combine speedy humanitarianism with smart design. The flat-pack shelter, recently unveiled at the DMY International Design Festival Berlin, is made of light composite panels that come in small dimensions for compact building in the event of a disaster.

Treehugger, off a tip from Designboom, has more on the instant shelters, which impressively expand from about 80 to180 square feet when unfolded.

The shelters are shipped flat and are assembled manually by first folding the walls and roof to attain the basic shape. adjustable substructures are then mounted and placed on top of this primary construction to finalize the building.


Relief structures, quick to assemble and affordable to produce, have provided housing for those left homeless in the aftermath of natural disasters like Haiti’s recent earthquake. Inhabitat has an overview of pre-fab emergency shelters, a number of which use renewably generated power and feature rainwater collection.

Image via Designboom