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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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Dan Bell
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Design
A Cartographer Is Mapping All of the UK’s National Parks, J.R.R. Tolkien-Style
Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park
Dan Bell

Cartographer Dan Bell makes national parks into fantasy lands. Bell, who lives near Lake District National Park in England, is currently on a mission to draw every national park in the UK in the style of the maps in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Kottke.org reports.

The project began in September 2017, when Bell posted his own hand-drawn version of a Middle Earth map online. He received such a positive response that he decided to apply the fantasy style to real world locations. He has completed 11 out of the UK’s 15 parks so far. Once he finishes, he hopes to tackle the U.S. National Park system, too. (He already has Yellowstone National Park down.)

Bell has done various other maps in the same style, including ones for London and Game of Thrones’s Westeros, and he commissions, in case you have your own special locale that could use the Tolkien treatment. Check out a few of his park maps below.

A close-up of a map for Peak District National Park
Peak District National Park in central England
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Cairngorms National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Cairngorms National Park in Scotland
Dan Bell

A black-and-white illustration of Lake District National Park in the style of a 'Lord of the Rings' map.
Lake District National Park in England
Dan Bell

You can buy prints of the maps here.

[h/t Kottke.org]

All images by Dan Bell

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The North Face
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Design
The North Face's New Geodesic Dome Tent Will Protect You in 60 mph Wind
The North Face
The North Face

You can find camping tents designed for easy set-up, large crowds, and sustainability, but when it comes to strength, there’s only so much abuse a foldable structure can take. Now, The North Face is pushing the limits of tent durability with a reimagined design. According to inhabitat, the Geodome 4 relies on its distinctive geodesic shape to survive wind gusts approaching hurricane strength.

Instead of the classic arching tent structure, the Geodome balloons outward like a globe. It owes its unique design to the five main poles and one equator pole that hold it in place. Packed up, the gear weighs just over 24 pounds, making it a practical option for car campers and four-season adventurers. When it’s erected, campers have floor space measuring roughly 7 feet by 7.5 feet, enough to sleep four people, and 6 feet and 9 inches of space from ground to ceiling if they want to stand. Hooks attached to the top create a system for gear storage.

While it works in mild conditions, the tent should really appeal to campers who like to trek through harsher weather. Geodesic domes are formed from interlocking triangles. A triangle’s fixed angles make it one of the strongest shapes in engineering, and when used in domes, triangles lend this strength to the overall structure. In the case of the tent, this means that the dome will maintain its form in winds reaching speeds of 60 mph. Meanwhile, the double-layered, water-resistant exterior keeps campers dry as they wait out the storm.

The Geodome 4 is set to sell for $1635 when it goes on sale in Japan this March. In the meantime, outdoorsy types in the U.S. will just have to wait until the innovative product expands to international markets.

[h/t inhabitat]

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