Ikea refugee shelter named 2016 Design of the Year

A flat-pack refugee shelter developed by Ikea and the United Nations has been named the best design of 2016.

The modular Better Shelter is made from recyclable plastic, comprises only 68 components, and can be assembled in as few as four hours.

Each structure is large enough to house a family of five, and includes a solar panel to power lights and charge devices. Since production started in 2015, 16,000 units have been delivered to countries around the world including Iraq, Djibouti, Greece and Niger, to be used as homes, temporary clinics and offices.

“Better Shelter tackles one of the defining issues of the moment: providing shelter in an exceptional situation whether caused by violence or disaster,” said juror Jana Scholze, an associate professor of curating contemporary design at Kingston University, in a statement.

“Providing not only a design, but secure manufacture as well as distribution makes this project relevant and even optimistic. It shows the power of design to respond to the conditions we are in and transform them.”

[CNN]

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