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These woven tents use the sun’s energy

The need for temporary shelter in disaster areas is one that is growing day by day. Thankfully, schemes such as the Weaving a Home project are working toward creating practical and livable solutions to help those in need.


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A new design

There have been a range of temporary structures used in disaster areas, including inflatable tents, pop-up homes and flat-pack shelters. However, this new project is focusing on building structures that can incorporate solar power. Architect Abeer Seikaly’s design gets its inspiration from the techniques used in basket weaving by weaving waterproof fabric between flexible plastic tubing. This creates a durable tent that can withstand tension. It also allows openings to be made throughout the tent to allow hot air to escape and fresh air to be let into the structure. These openings can be sealed tightly to protect the occupants from wet and cold climates.

Use of solar energy

Not only is it structurally sound, but the tent includes an invaluable water collection system that directs water to a specific storage area. A fabric with excellent thermal properties is used that allows solar radiation to be converted into power in order to heat water, which can then be used for showers. The walls of the structure are hollow, which allows plenty of space not only for the water collection system but for electrical cables to run throughout.


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Easily transportable

The beauty of a tensile structure is that most of them can be moved easily. They are used for a variety of building types all around the world, such as those found at, and they offer flexibility and durability if they need to be transported often. It can also be easily folded and stored away when not in use. However, with the tent offering running water, heat and electricity, it is made to feel more like a permanent structure than others used in disaster areas.

Award winner

With so many features making it a practical yet stylish option for a durable and lightweight shelter, it’s no wonder that the design was the winner of the 2013 Lexus Design Awards. The project not only sees the need for shelters that can be erected quickly, but it also shows that having the advantage of allowing comforts that we all take for granted can turn a basic shelter into a home.