Categories DesignPosted on

Better Shelter: Winning Design of the Year Helps Refugees

With the plight of refugees very much the story of our times, it is cheering to think that Better Shelter is getting the recognition it deserves. Better Shelter was designed by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR and has been named the Beazley Design of the Year. The annual award and exhibition is curated and hosted by the Design Museum in London. Previous winners included the London 2012 Olympic Torch and the Barack Obama Hope poster. Now in its ninth year, the award was presented at an exclusive dinner held inside the stunning central atrium at the Design Museum’s new home in Kensington, which is worth a visit in itself.

Better Shelter unit. Photo by Jonas Nyström
Better Shelter unit. Photo by Jonas Nyström

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 to 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. SEEN would like to add their congratulations to the plaudits that Better Shelter have already received. These initiatives dignify and humanise displaced people, acting as a bridge to a more hopeful future.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Winners of the Beazley Design of the Year, Marta Terne and Christian Gustafsson of Better Shelter pose for a photo at the Beazley Designs of the Year at the Design Museum on January 26, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for the Design Museum) *** Local Caption *** Marta Terne; Christian Gustafsson
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 26: Winners of the Beazley Design of the Year, Marta Terne and Christian Gustafsson of Better Shelter pose for a photo at the Beazley Designs of the Year at the Design Museum on January 26, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for the Design Museum) *** Local Caption *** Marta Terne; Christian Gustafsson

Other winners included a robotic surgeon; a children and fashion project about the impact of advertising; the design of David Bowie’s Blackstar albu; a space cup that be drunk from whilst in orbit, and a state-of-the-art bike helmet called Lumos that indicates and shows brake lights in synch with the bike.

The six category winners along with the further 70 other nominations are on display at the Design Museum until 19th February 2017.

designmuseum.org

The Design Museum
224-238 Kensington High Street
London
W8 6AG

Credits

Image Cover: Better Shelter units in Kara Tepe transit site, Mytilene, Lesvos, Mar 2016. Photo by Märta Terne