Ikea designed an ultra-durable shelter for refugees that goes up in under four hours

Over 65 million refugees are currently fleeing war, persecution, or natural disaster worldwide, according to the latest figures by the United Nations.

The Scandinavian furniture giant Ikea has designed ingenious shelters to temporarily house them.

Hatched by Better Shelter, a social enterprise run by Ikea’s nonprofit foundation, the shelters are more durable, more cost-effective, and safer than the ones the UN typically gives refugees. For example, Ikea’s shelters can last up to three years, while current UN tents last six months or fewer with harsh weather conditions.

Consisting of three main parts – a frame, panels, and a solar power system – the weatherproof structure can go up in under four hours. It’s designed to house up to five people.


As noted by Fast Company, the shelter recently won the 2017 Beazley Design of the Year award and has been added to MoMA’s permanent collection.

Ikea has already shipped its shelters to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, where they have been turned into houses, medical centers, and food distribution hubs.

Check out how Ikea’s shelters are built below:

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