IKEA’s flat-packed refugee housing solution, the “Better Shelter,” has been announced as the winner of the Beazley Design of the Year 2016. Presented by the Design Museum in London, the award is given to the project that best meets the criteria of design that “promotes or delivers change,” “captures the spirit of the year,” “enables access,” and “work that has extended design practice.”
Selected as the winner of the Architecture category, the Better Shelter beat out winners from five other categories, including Digital, Fashion, Graphics, Product and Transport, to take home the top honor of Design of the Year.
“Innovative, humanitarian and implemented, Better Shelter has everything that a Beazley Design of the Year should have,” said judge Dr. Jana Scholze from Kingston University.
The Better Shelter was developed as a collaborative project in 2013 by Johan Karlsson, Dennis Kanter, Christian Gustafsson, John van Leer, Tim de Haas, Nicolò Barlera, UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation. Nearly 65 million of the shelters have since been distributed worldwide.
The structures consist of a steel frame clad with insulated lightweight polymer panels, and can be assembled in under 4 hours. Due its modular nature, additional features such as a solar powered wall can also be integrated into the design. Each shelter is designed for a 3-year lifespan.
Last year’s top award was given to the Human Organs-on-Chips project by Harvard’s Wyss Institute, while the architecture category was won by Alejandro Aravena's UC Innovation Center.
News via the Design Museum.