The canvas tents dotting refugee camps that thousands of refugees call home are being reconsidered by the IKEA Foundation. The tents provide little privacy and even less protection from the elements. Many families spend years living under tents that were only designed to last months.
The IKEA Foundation has turned their sights on redesigning these tents to make them more durable, private and effective. The new shelters have solar panels and insulating layers that reflect heat in the summer and trap it in the winter. In true IKEA form, the single family shelters are packaged in the classic flat-packs and come with all parts needed for assembly.
Currently the tents are being field tested in U.N. camps in Ethiopia, Iran and Lebanon. If testing goes well, the IKEA Foundation plans to mass-manufacture the tents to lessen production costs and make them more widely available. Read more about the process at NPR and the Christian Science Monitor.