Floods, earthquakes, landslides, tornadoes… the world has come to a changing point, where humanity is being harmed by natural disasters, where millions die due to lack of shelter.
How do we change this? How can we help?
We, as a team of designers, felt the need to do something out to help each other, something that may save lives, not changing what affects us, but adapting to it.
Living in a third world country (Guatemala) we have sadly had the chance to experience some of this disasters by ourselves, watching people suffer by not having somewhere to sleep, something that keeps them and their family safe, somewhere to call their own. These disasters leave people with nowhere to live and getting your life together is one of the hardest things after experiencing something as awful as that.
During the last natural disasters, people who lost their homes have been transferred to communal shelters which do not have enough capacity to serve victim’s needs. Failure in program’s design to rehabilitate the damaged communities after the emergency ends up in victims returning to vulnerable areas. Without a dignified space, without a home.
Our environment provides the necessity we need to satisfy, our studies, hard work, and allies provide the knowledge to help.
Our entry for Laka Reacts is ACAT.
ACAT is a shelter designed to be used after a natural disaster. It’s easy to build and has basic accommodations to hold a family. Its design is simple and effective.
What ACAT seeks is to serve as a safe space for people who lost it all, it lasts long enough for them to start over, it lasts during rain-time and flooding, it lasts when its needed to.
It was designed to continue its sheltering purpose long after the emergency situation ends, for the materials used to ensure its duration and easy maintenance; special floating and anchoring mechanisms make the house resilient of floods, and clean energy systems help the house to work off-grid.
We know some environmental conditions are unpredictable, but this is meant to keep people safe, to keep them alive. Even though ACAT was designed to respond to a national Guatemalan emergency, Its goal is to be replicable where needed.
We have research behind the design, we have a lot of research ahead for this to come out of the dream zone and be a reality.
The idea behind this shelter is to keep it simple: thought design, worldwide materials (which can change according to location), easy and fast construction, basic needs satisfaction.
ACAT. A design to make a shelter not a dream, but a reality during adversities; is more than an emergency housing module; it is a definite housing solution which shelters a family in a dignified manner, providing aesthetic features, protection of future natural disasters and clean energy for years to come.
ACAT is a game changer.