"In July, Ikea Foundation and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) will roll out one of the major innovations for war-torn homeless since the canvas tent: cheap, flat-packed, build-it-yourself homes with electricity-generating roofs," reports Shane Snow.
"Up to this point, the best elemental protection relief workers could often provide refugees have been cheap, canvas UN tents that start to disintegrate after about six months."
"The new Ikea-designed shelters are built to last 10 times that long," he explains. "They’re twice as large as an old-school refugee tent, at 17.5 square meters (fitting five people comfortably) and take about four hours to assemble, which is about how long it took my lawyer friend, Frank, and me to bolt together my giant Ikea bookshelf the other day."
"Ikea and UNHCR will beta test the shelters in Ethiopia next month, then iterate to a final design for mass production. They currently cost $10,000 to make, but they’re hoping to get that price down to less than $1,000 when they’re in mass production. The tents cost half that."