1HDC 10.02 - Emergency Shelter - Submission Forum

1 Hour Design Challenge: Emergency Shelters

January 27, 2010

February 28, 2010

Pop-up shelters have been a favorite exploration of designers for a long time, and in light of the earthquake in Haiti and the necessity of creating short-term emergency shelters, this 1 Hour Design Challenge invites designers to create innovative and appropriate pop-up shelter solutions. Your designs may be specific to Haiti or generalized to address emergency shelter needs across various contexts. We’re looking for simple, effective and appropriate design interventions.

Upload your images to the discussion board and provide a short text description. (3-sentence MAXIMUM.) You can use sketches, renderings, storyboards, cartoons, stick figures, or diagrams to explain your design.

In the spirit of all 1 Hour Design Challenges, the work you post must be original for this competition and be completed in 1 hour maximum.

Judging will be based on inventiveness, utility and appropriateness.
Core77 will donate $500 to Architecture For Humanity’s Haiti Earthquake Support Program in the name of the winner."

A hybrid earthbag and pallet building would provide excellent protection from the weather and would be virtually free to build with debris and discarded shipping pallets. The addition of rain water collection, humanure composting, and simple solar oven(s) would provide fresh water and help keep human waste safely out of the way. Any additional materials would only enhance this basic earthquake resistant structure.

Michael Janzen

Sorry mine was done in advance as well so I have deleted my entry.



I had never been aware of the fact that it is strictly forbidden to enter old projects.

Best Regards

ShellShed http://iotd.patrickandrews.com
Today’s invention is a cheap form of disaster relief shelter which consists of two lengths of reed-type matting; one inserted inside the other and sewn together to form a box with a vestibule.

This can be made in double thickness and coated with mud for extra weather protection.

It is intended to provide a family unit with a rapid, structurally tough way to stay warm, dry and as clean as possible.

>>IMPORTANT! Please Read:<< Greetings all. A quick reminder that the structure of the 1 Hour Design Competitions is that the design work is original for the competition, and is done in under 1 hour. While we appreciate all the great projects you’ve completed in other parts of your professional practice and school studies, please limit your entries here to work specifically done for this competition and within the time limit.

Sorry, mine was done in an hour but it was a prior project. Good luck!

Hi core 77ers,
A colleague forwarded me this challenge and I’d love to propose using pleating folds as a system for deployable shelters. I used to be a “paper engineer”, designing pop up books and cards, now I work with scientists folding things on the micro scale. Collapsible structures may ship flat and expand upon arrival… the models are made from 100# text weight paper but can be made life size (or cat size) with polymers/ plastics and then covered.

A quick pass at this ONE HOUR DESIGN CHALLENGE. This was 40 minutes, super obvious, but maybe so obvious it could work. Essentially a giant umbrella with the center shaft doubling as a fireplace. It might need to be tied down like a tent for stability in winds. Sideskirts can be fastened to the lip of the roof. It could ship easily in planes, trucks or trains.

sketch got a little busy, but hopefully you get the idea. It’s a tent that can be dropped from a helicopter (or deployed from land) that is kept aloft by balloons that have computer controlled rotors to keep it in place, and can be easily moved accordingly as needed.

The structure of a tent or shelter is normally the heaviest and most material consuming part of the structure, and this solution removes the need for such support to provide cheap, quick, easy to deploy basic shelter from sun, wind, and the elements.

The tent and balloons also may have graphic markings to help identify different triage wards, groups, families or sections which can be easily seen from air and land to help ground/air relief workers and those in need of help find the correct tent.

Inspired by the Dymaxion housing concept by Buckminster Fuller.




This is my take on the shelter-design:

Based and collaborated on this amazing idea: seedbomb by Jin-wook Hwang at Coroflot.com by Jin-wook Hwang.

The Basic Idea is that the inflatable shelter (and other necessities: food, stove, medicine) are stored inside mock-ups of real bombs. That way these rescue-packages can fit inside a military bomber. So these planes might help people instead of killing them.

I do hope the sketch speaks for itself…albeit its quick n dirty…but that’s the challenge I guess :wink:



PS/ As for a name I’d suggest: “Bomb the Poor Basterds” :wink:

I’ve been working with a large blow molding factory in China for about 5 years and I’m amazed at how big they can blow mold hollow panels. They make the light weight blow molded folding tables for stores like Target.

  • The panels are light weight and strong, which makes it a great material / process for modular construction.
  • The panels ship neatly in containers (perfect cube) and can be hand carried to remote sites (if the roads are trashed after a disaster).
  • The ball-and-socket construction makes for easy assembly.
  • The hollow panels can be filled with water or sand to help lower the center of gravity.

My idea stems from roll-out tarpaulin panels (mostly used for event signages) but for the shelter design, a wider and hardier pole (roll pipe) will be used, and the edges of the poles will have designated locks to: 1) insert at the base, 2) connect wall-poles to roof-poles and 3) a main connector to close the door.

Since this shelter is not for long-term, the base material may be made of particleboard which can be composted after use, and the bed materials are also organic.

The walls of the shelter is a continuous tarp rolled out from the 4 wall poles, this feature makes shipping/transporting very easy; and its varying tarp colors will identify which one is the roof, the wall, and the door.

Hi! Yes my entry was done in an hour AND it was original for this competition. I’ve drawn pallet houses before but never one so small and never one using earthbags.


Credit is given to the American Indians TEEPEE design for it’s durability, portability, and responsible use of natural resources. In this concept the material (tarp, canvas, gore tex…) would be provided to skin the frame. The units cold be set up alone or combined to form multi-room living spaces.

Hey Guys heres my entry

took me just under 50min on my lunch break so might add a couple of extra sketches later if I can find the time.


Aid Box: Stackable and easily transportable, designed to get the maximum amount of aid effectively to the places which need it. Rather than just supply a shelter, Aid box gives the people in need the basic essentials to help bump start rebuilding their lives.

Box features:-

  • Stackable, for effective transportation
  • Measures so will fit into a container or aircraft with the minimum amount of negative space.
  • All parts of the box have additional features and purposes.
  • Can be sterilized and cleaned after use for re-use by aid agencies in other areas.


  • Fold from inside the box staying attached.
  • Straps of the box are used to tension the poles creating the tunnel shape
  • Colour-coded 4 step, simple construction
  • Sleeps 6-8 people.
  • Tough, waterproof construction with built in mosquito net.


  • When emptied the the specially designed aid box becomes a cool box for keeping food dry and cool.
  • Internal box hold basic equipment for cooking, eating and drinking
  • Internal box then acts as a water storage with additional tap attachment and filter
  • Strong sturdy construction, which can sustain the rigures of the tough conditions of use.

This is my first time entering one of these competitions. Lovely work so far. Really impressed by the creativity in the solutions.

This is a simple design for a unit inside a lightweight metal container. It consists mostly of rods and fabric. It really is simple to construct but should be sturdy too. It makes use of collapsable metal foil for chimneys and rainwater storage. I did it in about 30 minutes so please excuse the rough drawings. February 4th - I’ve edited this drawing to remove my name from it.

I would challenge everyone to try to beat this (or donate to the cause):


Enjoy my Child Handwriting!

This design utilizes an existing component, which is inexpensive and easy to manufacture. It inherently provides a rugged shelter in an assortment of harsh weather conditions. Reusability and recyclability were also factors in the design.
Emergency Shelter.JPG