Better Shelter has been named the Beazley Design of the Year by Design Museum for its outstanding contribution towards the global issue of population displacement. Designed by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR, Better Shelter is a social enterprise bringing design industry innovation to emergency and temporary shelter.
The project has developed safer, more dignified homes for those who have been displaced due conflict and natural disasters. Featuring a lockable front door and a solar powered wall, the shelter utilises flat-pack technology used in furniture design and has repurposed it to create a shelter that can be easily assembled and transported.
Flat-packed in a two-box kit along with all the required tools, the shelter is easily assembled in about four hours. The photovoltaic panel provides enough energy to power the supplied light or to charge a mobile phone. 30,000 Better Shelters’ are already in use around the world and the judges chose Better Shelter as a clear demonstration of scalable design that has the ability to make a worldwide impact.
“Better Shelter tackles one of the defining issues of the moment: providing shelter in an exceptional situation whether caused by violence and disaster,” stated Dr Jana Scholze, Associate Professor, Curating Contemporary Design, Kingston University. “Sadly, we have seen many instances recently where temporary shelter was necessary. 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.
Innovative, humanitarian and implemented, Better Shelter has everything that a Beazley Design of the Year should have.”
Selected as the winner of the Architecture category, the Better Shelter pipped the five other category winners to claim the overall prize.