Canadian/Jordanian designer Abeer Seikaly came up with an innovative design for disaster relief housing which was inspired by temporary huts of nomadic desert tribes. The shelters Seikaly proposes would be woven into existence, a process based on ancient traditions of the desert peoples. These shelters would also be able to draw all the power needed from the sun.


Building these tiny houses involves weaving together linear fibers into complex three-dimensional shapes. The entire structure is basically a system composed of durable plastic threaded to form a singular unit. The flexible envelope of the tent is folded over a central axis. The latter is hollow, and acts a lot like a conventional stud wall, since it allows water and electricity to run through it. The structure is also very well ventilated and provides ample light when opened up. It can also be huddled down during the winter to prevent heat loss.


Solar energy can be used to heat the structure and the water, as well as provide electricity. The outer skin of the shelter is made from a material capable of absorbing solar energy, which is then converted into energy and stored in batteries. Appliances can be plugged into the battery via an AC plug. Water, on the other hand, is heated by passing through tubes that are in direct contact with the solar absorbent material. Heat generated by the sun is moved to the tubes where it heats the water by conduction. The heated water is then collected in a storage tank, to which it rises through a thermosiphoning system. The shelters are also equipped with a drainage system, which ensures that the structure is not flooded.


This design is definitely one of the best temporary housing ideas, as it provides all the necessities for decent living in a single, self-reliant package. Since the structure is basically a tent, it could also become the abode of choice for anyone who enjoys going camping. In fact, sale of these to adventurous and earth-conscious individuals could help fund their deployment in areas ravaged by war and natural disasters.