Category Archives: Project Room

Backpack Bed

The Backpack Bed by Swags for Homeless is one of the only emergency homeless shelter designs which has gone through to commercial manufacture.

Whilst the company claim that it’s received 5 international design awards I feel like its fundamentally let down by the fact it doesn’t implement any structural poles in its design which means that the user has to find a suitable place to tie the bag up, else it will just lay on top of you.


  • Compact design
  • Built in roll-mat
  • Quick setup
  • Portable
  • Multi-functional (can be used as wind-break etc)
  • Good visibility when inside
  • Doesn’t look like a ‘tent’ when packed up
  • Built in fly-net
  • Internal compartments
  • Fully Waterproof


  • Not freestanding
  • Lack of structural supports
  • Stability issues in high winds
  • Exposed entrance
  • Limited space for personal posessions
  • If rolled up wet or in the rain water is kept inside
  • Fixed backpack size means that sleeping bag will have to be packed separate
  • Poor ventilation if not tied up
  • Messy looking if not tied up
  • If not tied up then increase in thermal heat-loss as bag is touching person
  • Increased risk of condensation if not tied up
  • Lack of suitable places to ‘pitch’ it
  • A-frame design is inefficient on space

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ZO-loft Wheelly

The Zo-loft Wheelly is Zo-loft architecture and design‘s attempt at developing a portable homeless shelter.

Whilst the Zo-loft is an interesting design concept I think it is lacking severely in terms of practicality. It’s far too big, heavy and expensive to manufacture to realistically think that it would be suitable as a homeless shelter. It seems like the designers were not concerned about the practicality of their design.

Along with many other issues I personally have with the shelter, the shape of it doesn’t make sense to me.

Interesting to look at but negative issues far outweigh any positive points I’m afraid.


  • Durable when in transit
  • Multiple layout options
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Lots of storage space
  • Weather proof whilst in transit


  • Excessively BIG & Heavy
  • Not discrete
  • Awkward to push around
  • No built in roll-mat or protection from the ground
  • Poor ventilation
  • Not waterproof on bottom
  • Awkward design is not space efficient
  • Unstable in wind
  • Heavy
  • Poor visibility
  • Expensive to manufacture
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