November 1, 2017

M-Rad’s Tina Hovsepian Designs Innovative Shelters for Displaced & Homeless

By M-Rad Team

Super storms Harvey, Irma, and Maria – and California’s wine country wildfires may be a not so distant memory, but the destruction these natural disaster left behind will be felt for weeks, months, and possibly even years. Between the three storms and wildfires – a total collective count of 320,000 homes were destroyed and over 3 million people were displaced (and most still are).

Emergency shelter set up as Hurricane Harvey hit in Texas

Aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

 Two women try to make do with what is left after Hurricane Irma destroyed their home.

A woman stands on the pile of ashes of where her home once stood due to the wine country wildfires

Meanwhile, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency 2017 holds the record of the highest level of displacement ever. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees.  Nearly 20 people per minute around the world are forcibly displaced as a result of conflict or persecution.

Not to mention – over 100 million homeless people live their daily life on the streets, 564,000 of those in the United States.

If all of this is getting you down, we have some positive news…

M-Rad employee, licensed architect Tina Hovsepian has designed a shelter called, Cardborigami as a possible solution to the worldwide problem of displacement and homelessness. Cardborigami is made from cardboard, which Hovsepian chose for several reasons: the ridges inside help keep it insulated and make it sturdier than a tent, and it’s lightweight and recyclable. Not only is the shelter insulated for cold nights but it’s treated to be fireproof and waterproof as well.

The temporary shelters come in small and extra large sizes to provide comfort for an individual or several families in times of natural disasters. The Cardborigami structures are easy to set up and take down which is a main difference between her design and others. It folds up easily and converts to a backpack so it can easily be transported.

Los Angeles holds nearly 15% of the entire homeless population of the United States. As a Angeleno herself, Hovsepian sees homelessness first hand on a daily basis. The idea to create this design originated during her studies at the USC School of Architecture in 2007. With homelessness issue continuing to increase as well as the number of displaced people worldwide – her design could not be more relevant to the current needs of our time.

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