There are numerous homeless shelter designs currently on the internet, some are good, some are simply not practical. It also seems that there are only a few designs that have actually made it to market and are being manufactured. I suspect this is because it’s simply not commercially viable to design, develop and manufacture a product which is given to the end user for free. We don’t have to go into this though.
Find below my preliminary market research to see what’s currently out there. In no particular order.
The Backpack Bed
The ‘Backpack Bed’ by Swags for Homeless is Australia’s answer to emergency crisis shelters for the homeless. It has apparently won 5 international design awards and packs down neatly into a backpack. There are some good features to the backpack bed but unfortunately, I think the fundamental design of it is flawed: you need to string it up on multiple points in order for add structure to the shelter, else the material will simply lay over the top of the occupant increasing condensation, removing any thermal insulative properties of the design and ultimately being very uncomfortable for the user, especially in the rain. Due to the open design, it’s also very easy for rain and wind to find its way inside the shelter…
The Urban Sleeper by Ragnhild Lubbert Terpling
The ‘Urban Sleeper’ by Ragnhild Lubbert Terpling is a very simple and elegant emergency homeless shelter. It’s free-standing, lightweight, and provides a simple barrier against the elements.
In colder climates this single skinned design would suffer greatly from condensation issues and wouldn’t stand up well against the wind due to the way it has been designed.
There are many good design features that can be taken from the Urban Sleeper.