The refugee shelter developed by Ikea and the United Nations has been awarded the Beazley Design of the Year award, presented by the Design Museum in London
Ikea's modular Better Shelter, which just won the Beazly Design award for 2016, among some other design innovation recognitions, is made from recyclable plastic, comprises only 68 components, and can be assembled in as few as four hours.
With years of expertise in the self-assembly segment, Ikea had come up with a 17.5 sq m shelter that fits inside two boxes and can be assembled by four people in just about four hours, following the default picture-based instructions.
A Guardian report says that Better Shelter, developed by the Ikea Foundation with UNHCR over the past five years, consists of a sturdy steel frame clad with insulated polypropylene panels, along with a solar panel on the roof that provides four hours of electric light, or mobile phone charging via a USB port. Crucially, it is firmly anchored to the ground and the walls are stab-proof.
At $1,250, a Better Shelter costs twice as much as a typical emergency tent, but it provides security, insulation and durability, and it lasts for at least three years. Beyond that time, when the plastic panels might degrade, the frame can be reused and clad in whatever local materials are to hand, from mud bricks to corrugated iron.