IKEA's Innovative Solution for Refugee Shelter Can't Keep Up with Demand

The brain behind these shelters is Industrial Designer Johan Karlsson, designing what he described as an “incremental modification to existing refugee shelters.”


How are we housing millions of Syrian refugees?

The question is easily answered. A quick Google image search reveals tent houses — hundreds of rows of these flimsy tents. IKEA may have a better solution.

The IKEA Foundation is helping Syrian refugees in their major transition by building easy-to-assemble shelters.

“I mean they’re really people running for their lives,” said British-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie. “And, of course, I think they need to be not left to starve and die in various no man’s land, you know. They do need to be accommodated somehow.”

The good news is camps across Europe — in Germany, Switzerland, and Sweden — are demanding these shelters. However, according to Karlsson, demand has been out-pacing their ability to supply. His foundation is only able to produce around 2,500 units a month. But with millions in Syria fleeing, it's becoming difficult to keep up.

“What started as a humanitarian project for people far away in distant, war-torn countries is now right on our doorstep,” he explained.

***

Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

Photo Credit: Better Shelter

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Why is 18 the age of adulthood if the brain can take 30 years to mature?

Neuroscience research suggests it might be time to rethink our ideas about when exactly a child becomes an adult.

Mind & Brain
  • Research suggests that most human brains take about 25 years to develop, though these rates can vary among men and women, and among individuals.
  • Although the human brain matures in size during adolescence, important developments within the prefrontal cortex and other regions still take pace well into one's 20s.
  • The findings raise complex ethical questions about the way our criminal justice systems punishes criminals in their late teens and early 20s.
Keep reading Show less

Believe in soulmates? You're more likely to 'ghost' romantic partners.

Does believing in true love make people act like jerks?

Thought Catalog via Unsplash
Sex & Relationships
  • Ghosting, or cutting off all contact suddenly with a romantic partner, is not nice.
  • Growth-oriented people (who think relationships are made, not born) do not appreciate it.
  • Destiny-oriented people (who believe in soulmates) are more likely to be okay with ghosting.
Keep reading Show less

Mini-brains attach to spinal cord and twitch muscles

A new method of growing mini-brains produces some startling results.

(Lancaster, et al)
Surprising Science
  • Researchers find a new and inexpensive way to keep organoids growing for a year.
  • Axons from the study's organoids attached themselves to embryonic mouse spinal cord cells.
  • The mini-brains took control of muscles connected to the spinal cords.
Keep reading Show less