Abeer Seikaly: Visionary Architect Weaves Winning Tents For Refugees
Refugees of war, disasters and other crisis conditions make for more than 20 percent homeless population of the world. People who migrate from different regions rarely find a shelter if not a proper home. They are deprived of the basic necessities that comprise a normal human life — water, food, protection from the harsh weather among other challenges. If migration is an unavoidable consequence, then why not make the world an adaptive and welcoming space for them? One such effort has been undertaken by an inspiring woman who is known for her creativity and architectural craftsmanship.
Inspired by the plight of the Syrian war and its refugees, the award-winning Jordanian-Canadian architect Abeer Seikaly has woven a solution for the homelessness of the refugees of humanitarian disasters. Named as ‘Weaving a home’, Seikaly has created a multipurpose, lightweight and technologically intact tent for the refugees to have a home away from home.
The tent is a masterpiece in its structure and design that makes it adaptable to the weather, capable of rain-water harvesting and absorption of solar energy.
- Inspired by the plight of the Syrian war and its refugees, the award-winning Jordanian-Canadian architect Abeer Seikaly has woven a solution for the homelessness of the refugees.
- This housing tent design has been named ‘Weaving a home’ and is based on the traditional temporary huts of the nomads.
- The tent is a modern take of the temporary nomadic huts equipped with technology and facilities to provide for basic necessities of contemporary human life.
- The design of the tent is flexible so that it can be folded for easy mobility, contacted and expanded to adjust with the surrounding weather.
- The tent is also capable of rain-water harvesting and absorbing solar energy and converting it into electricity.
- The first mock-up of the tent is ready, Seikaly is working on the second mock-up which will be done by next year.
For this excellent design prototype of an adaptable and portable housing solution for the refugees, Seikaly has been conferred with international Lexus Design award. It took four years to design the prototype and now the first mock-up of the tent is ready. She is currently working on the second mock-up which will be ready by next year. Moreover, this prototype would be facilitated with all the functionalities, enough to test it’s practicality which she plans to do on an expedition to Mount Everest.
The innovative design of ‘Weaving a home’
The aesthetic design of the tent traces the Bedouin culture inspired by natural elements like snakeskin, nomadic life and cultural traditions of weaving. According to the EgyptianStreets.com, it uses a structural fabric composed of high-strength plastic tubing moulded into sine-waves weaving a complex three-dimensional shape. The tent can expand, contract and can be folded into a flat surface for its easy mobility and transport. It is equipped with other technological advancements and basic necessities of contemporary life like water, heat, electricity, storage and the likes. Indeed, the tent is a reformed version of the traditional huts that is capable of providing more than a sustainable living to the refugees.
The tent is like a modernized version of the temporary huts of nomadic tribes.
The weatherproof housing
The tent is made weatherproof so that the refugees can live in it even in harsh weather conditions. The exposure to the weather can be controlled by its unique material and its design that allows it to contract and expand. The flexibility and the dual-layer structure of the tent allow it to close the exterior skin and protect the tent from the cold and wet weather. It can also open up for ventilation and cool air during the summers.
Rainwater harvesting and solar energy
Keeping in mind almost all the basic necessities, Seikaly has equipped the tent with rain-water storage capacities. The rainwater is stored on the top of the tent and then it filters down through a flexible pipe along the sides to storage pockets so that the tent is not flooded. The water stored provides for the basic sanitation facilities like showering. To provide electricity, the fabric of the tent is capable of absorbing solar energy. The energy is then stored in the battery to be used in the night.
Secret behind Seikaly’s success
The innovative design of the tent equipped with all the facilities of contemporary living is entirely a new enterprise. Moreover, the vision behind this idea to solve the global issue of homelessness makes it even more unique and challenging. The journey from designing on paper and building it on the ground has not been easy for Seikaly. According to Wisconsin Muslim Journal.com, Seikaly’s secret behind her success is, “I really truly, genuinely believe that anything is possible. If you believe in an idea and you are motivated to work hard and are patient and practice, then things happen. It’s kind of like giving yourself up to the flow of things and of life and moving with the flow really, with proper attention to something and integrity in what you’re doing.”
Picture Credit: Archdaily
Rudrani Kumari is an intern with SheThePeople.TV