Refugee camps consist of poorly built temporary shelters, but often these camps end up existing a lot longer than what was originally intended. In fact, one refugee camp in Kenya has been in operation since 1992 and has more than 185,000 residents.
This is why Cutwork, a Paris-based design company, has created the Cortex shelter, a house which can be constructed without heavy machinery and consists of rollable concrete which can be shipped flat and then draped over a metal frame. When water is added, the structure has secure walls and textile insulation which offers a comfortable interior.
The unit features a dry toilet and cooking space as well and is powered by solar panels. The whole house can be assembled for $4,000, which the company believes is more affordable and sustainable than frequently replacing tents.
The company hopes to market the structures in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to create safe, durable homes for those fleeing conflict. Most importantly, the structures can be permanent features of growing communities and propagate a better sense of belonging and growth.