There has been a significant increase in the number of people displaced due to natural disasters and conflicts in recent years. Yet, there is no centralized online hub that allows individuals to access DIY shelter designs, download blueprints, and access step-by-step instructional videos.
The conventional international assistance model, which relies on intermediaries or donations, has revealed its limitations when major earthquakes struck or conflicts happen in remote places. Given the scale of destruction witnessed this year in the Middle East, there is a pressing need for a shift in the way we should think about how to help reconstruction and rebuilding.
Architects have developed various shelter designs and constructed them around the world. However, plans, drawings, or construction instructions are not shared. Government and international organization documents tend to be lengthy as they are catered towards aid workers or skilled builders. Mass-produced shelters often prove challenging to replicate using locally available materials. While DIY YouTubers have shown building skills, they do not provide downloadable drawings or comprehensive plans.
With basic technology, can we now offer a complete solution encompassing designs, material lists, plans, and construction guidance for individuals who want to rebuild their lives anywhere in the world?
In collaboration with a team of architecture graduate students and professors from ETH Zurich, as well as nonprofit disaster relief organizations, Fashion Girls for Humanity has undertaken the initiative to establish an online hub called Home for Humanity. This platform is designed to provide easy access for individuals to comprehensive shelter design solutions, including in-depth material specifications and step-by-step instructions.
Our overarching vision extends into the future, where we aspire to create an open environment on the platform. This will enable users to actively participate by sharing alternative designs, innovative concepts, valuable feedback, and also leverage the content for global disaster preparedness and self-resilience education.
*The site is also offered in various languages including Arabic.