Over winter break I experienced the UN exhibit at the NY MoMA. Apart of the visit was the experience of being in a refugee shelter made by IKEA. In 2010 Better Shelter began as a partnership between IKEA and UNCHR in Sweden.
In short, Better Shelter is an innovation on housing solutions for those disturbed by conflicts or disasters. Temporary settlements in the past have been tent-like structures. This shelter takes only 4 hours to assemble. It can be easily moved and taken apart. It is designed to makes those living in it feel safe and secure. The roof provides UV protection and the doors lock. This shelter is designed to meet basic needs but also provide security, privacy, familiarity and even customization.
Unlike other shelters, this shelter is more technologically advanced. It has a solar panel roof that charges an LED light the can be used for 4 hours at night. The frame can withstand strong winds, rain and other weather conditions. Because it’s built in parts, if something needs to be fixed, the part can be fixed individually unlike a tent where the whole item needs to be replaced.