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This Pop-Up Shelter Brings Smart Design to Disaster Relief

In 2011, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing hundreds of people, destroying buildings, and leaving thousands of residents homeless. The event was particularly personal for Ankara-based design firm Designnobis, but the minds there also saw a need worldwide: They estimate that in 2013, natural disasters around the globe displaced 22 million people.

Temporary displacement due to natural disasters is a traumatic experience in and of itself, and emergency tents tend to underperform when it comes to providing proper relief for those who find themselves suddenly homeless for days or weeks at a time.

This need has led to Designnobis' “Tentative”—a shelter that’s easy to pack, transport, and build. It’s an elevated structure that stands just over 8 feet tall with 86 square feet of room for inhabitants.

"Temporary shelters are usually complex structures that require space and time to build," Hakan Gürsu, founder of Designnobis, told Fast Company. "What we intend with Tentative is to provide a smart, compact shelter that is flat pack, easy to transport, and practical to build."


Durable, weather-resistant fabric walls filled with thermal insulated perlite (a form of obsidian that's abundant in Turkey) stretch over the fiberglass shell to create the temporary shelter. The roof has water collection capabilities, and a door and window allow for natural light and easy ventilation. The floor contains recyclable, thermal-insulating composite decks, and the elevation (provided by an aluminum frame) prevents heat loss, which can be particularly devastating for the displaced. Assembly can be done with regular tools and takes less than an hour; when completed, Tentative can house two adults and two children.

Tentative is also compact when broken down, and Designnobis estimates that a typical flat-bed semi truck can transport 24 of them at a time. It’s designed to house refugees for three to four months.


For now, Tentative is in the prototype phase, and manufacturing costs could present hurdles. Designnobis hopes to produce the shelter for $2500 a piece, and are in search of a manufacturer. As Fact Company notes, IKEA is looking to produce a similar temporary shelter for $1000 a piece, so while the ins and outs are still being worked out, one thing is certain: We're one step close to providing better relief for those most in need.

[h/t FastCoDesign]

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Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Design
Inside This Pop-Up Book Are a Planetarium, a Speaker, a Decoder Ring, and More
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Courtesy Chronicle Books

Designer Kelli Anderson's new book is for more than just reading. This Book Is a Planetarium is really a collection of paper gadgets. With each thick, card stock page you turn, another surprise pops out.

"This book concisely explains—and actively demonstrates with six functional pop-up paper contraptions—the science at play in our everyday world," the book's back cover explains. It turns out, there's a whole lot you can do with a few pieces of paper and a little bit of imagination.

A book is open to reveal a spiralgraph inside.
Courtesy Chronicle Books

There's the eponymous planetarium, a paper dome that you can use with your cell phone's flashlight to project constellations onto the ceiling. There's a conical speaker, which you can use to amplify a smaller music player. There's a spiralgraph you can use to make geometric designs. There's a basic cipher you can use to encode and decode secret messages, and on its reverse side, a calendar. There's a stringed musical instrument you can play on. All are miniature, functional machines that can expand your perceptions of what a simple piece of paper can become.

The cover of This Book Is a Planetarium
Courtesy Chronicle Books
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Ikea
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How IKEA Turned the Poäng Chair Into a Classic
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Ikea

IKEA's Poäng chair looks as modern today as it did when it debuted in 1976. The U-shaped lounger has clean lines and a simple structure, and often evokes comparisons to Finnish designer Aalto’s famous “armchair 406.” Its design, however, is ultimately a true fusion of East and West, according to Co.Design.

In 2016, the Poäng celebrated its 40th birthday, and IKEA USA commemorated the occasion (and the 30 million-plus Poäng chairs they’ve sold over the years) by releasing two short videos about the armchair’s history and underlying design philosophy. Together, they tell the story of a fateful collaboration between Lars Engman, a young IKEA designer, and his co-worker, Noboru Nakamura.

Nakamura had initially come to IKEA to learn more about Scandinavian furniture. But the Japanese designer ended up imbuing the Poäng—which was initially called Poem—with his own distinct philosophy. He wanted to create a chair that swung “in an elegant way, which triggered me to imagine Poäng,” Nakamura recalled in a video interview. “That’s how I came up with a rocking chair.”

“A chair shouldn’t be a tool that binds and holds the sitter,” Nakamura explained. “It should rather be a tool that provides us with an emotional richness and creates an image where we let go of stress or frustration by swinging. Such movement in itself has meaning and value.”

Save for upholstery swaps, a 1992 name change, and a new-ish all-wooden frame that's easily flat-packed, the modern-day Poäng is still essentially the same product that customers have purchased and enjoyed for decades. Devotees of the chair can hear the full story by watching IKEA’s videos below—ideally, while swinging away at their desks.

[h/t Co. Design]

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