Design Museum puts IKEA refugee shelter on display

Refugee

The UK’s Design Museum has installed one of IKEA’s flat-pack refugee shelters outside a London underground station.

The Better Shelter, which is nominated for a Designs of the Year award, is outside the South Kensington Underground station in west London – close to the Design Museum’s new home on Kensington High Street.

It is the first time that the refugee shelter has been publicly exhibited in the UK, and it will remain in its outdoor location until 23 November.

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Afterwards, it will move to the Designs of the Year exhibition, where it will be exhibited alongside other nominees, including the artwork for David Bowie’s final album and Adidas’ running shoes made using recycled plastic recovered from the sea.

“This project sums up Beazley Designs of the Year and shows how the design industry can use their skills and knowledge to solve a real and pressing issue – that of temporary shelter for displaced people,” said curator Gemma Curtin.

The Better Shelter is a 17.5m2 module that can be assembled without tools in four hours. It has an expected lifespan of three years and can accommodate five people. The IKEA Foundation launched the flat-pack emergency shelter back in 2013 to offer an alternative to the tents often used to house displaced people, of which there are now more than 65 million worldwide.

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