Inspiration Station: Origami house

After a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck central China last May (killing 69,000 people, injuring hundreds of thousands and leaving millions homeless), the government is planning an extensive reconstruction project that includes building more than 1.5 million temporary homes designed to last two or three years.

Urban Re:Vision hosted a contest to answer this need; one particularly cool submission for which was designed by Ming Tang, whose central feature was to develop a temporary shelter for homeless people that exhibits characteristics of  umbrellas and folded fans. The structures can be arranged into various contexts and dwelling requirements. The self-reconstructive "origami" structures can produce potentially infinite scenarios. Composed of paper fibers, water, and cement, the buildings can be used for a variety of construction applications. The lightweight paper house can be pre-assembled in the factory, folded into a small package, and loaded into a truck for transportation. Awesome, awesome, awesome.
See the full submission here.
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Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.