Other than shelter

Photos / Esteban Gomez

Better Shelter has today over 80,000 shelters in 80 counties in refugee camps being used as temporary shelters, schools, hospitals or child friendly spaces. These camps are designed to be temporary while the refugees are given a more permanent solution.

The aim of this project is to look at this situation with a circular approach towards the life cycle of the shelters, and think of other ways to upcycle its materials by adressing different basic human needs.

- When the camps are put down what happens to the shelters? - Could this material be given a second life using it as something else? - Which other needs rather than shelter could this parts be used for? - Can we engage the communities to use their innovation into building new things with unused shelter parts? -Can the shelter materials be used and integrated with local resources to build new things?

By reflecting on this and looking at the shelter parts as a modular construction system that promote reuse and circularity, we developed a series of solutions addressing basic human needs, and created simple and easy to use manuals to enable the refugee communities to build artefacts with basic tools.

After the research we decided to focus on water management in refugee camps,  where families have to carry water buckets from water sources and often waste part of it during transport and use.

The final concept was two artifacts developed 100% from better shelter parts, The first one CADDY is a wheelbarrel that can transport two 20 Lt water buckets, and the second one is WASH a water station that allows for regulated water disposal into a water sink, and then to a gray water collector to further reuse the water for other purposes such as watering plants.

Instruction manuals for both artifacts were developped as downloadable PDF files for people to download and self build the pieces in refugee camps.

👉 Download Caddy instruction manual

👉 Wash instruction manual

Konstfack / Indepth reflection
Tutor/ Ingrid Troiero
Better Shelter / David K. Thalén, Tim de Haas 
Year / 2020