RHU/Ikea Refugee Housing
In Ethiopia, 20 Somalian refugee families have been living in these houses since August, prototypes of a lightweight, durable, insulating shelter developed by the Swedish design team Refugee Housing Unit and funded by the Ikea Foundation.
Conventional refugee tents allow little privacy at night when lights from inside cast shadows, but these units use a novel polymer that lets in sunlight and blocks shadows. Two people can carry one shelter kit — conveniently boxed in Ikea-inspired flat packing.
And with an expected life span of more than three years — six times longer than traditional refugee tents — these houses may out-survive the crisis, in which case they’re designed to be disassembled and rebuilt on more permanent ground.