Good Thinking

Cardborigami fuses cardboard and origami to shelter the homeless

Cardborigami fuses cardboard a...
Cardborigami 2.0 weighs 10.5 pounds, and is finished with fire-retardant and water-resistant coatings
Cardborigami 2.0 weighs 10.5 pounds, and is finished with fire-retardant and water-resistant coatings
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The unit is actually produced in two iterations, with a sizable version 1.0 sporting room aimed toward humanitarian crises
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The unit is actually produced in two iterations, with a sizable version 1.0 sporting room aimed toward humanitarian crises
The larger Cardborigami model
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The larger Cardborigami model
Cardborigami 2.0 weighs 10.5 pounds, and is finished with fire-retardant and water-resistant coatings
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Cardborigami 2.0 weighs 10.5 pounds, and is finished with fire-retardant and water-resistant coatings
At present, Cardborigami is still in the prototype stage
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At present, Cardborigami is still in the prototype stage
The designer is seeking to collaborate with like-minded organizations and investors in order to get the project off the ground
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The designer is seeking to collaborate with like-minded organizations and investors in order to get the project off the ground
The Cardborigami Outreach Center will offer help on using the shelter properly, and assistance to move into more permanent accommodation
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The Cardborigami Outreach Center will offer help on using the shelter properly, and assistance to move into more permanent accommodation
The 2.0 unit folds easily, and can be constructed in under a minute by one person
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The 2.0 unit folds easily, and can be constructed in under a minute by one person
View gallery - 7 images

Sadly, widespread homelessness isn’t going away any time soon, and until society works out a larger solution, ideas are needed to improve the living conditions of people without a home right now. One such idea put forward is a cardboard-constructed pop-up shelter dubbed “Cardborigami,” which is designed to serve as a transitional shelter until a permanent home is found.

Cardborigami is the brainchild of Los Angeles-based designer Tina Hovsepian, and is said to draw inspiration from the Japanese paper-folding art of origami.

The 2.0 unit folds easily, and can be constructed in under a minute by one person
The 2.0 unit folds easily, and can be constructed in under a minute by one person

The unit is actually produced in two iterations, with a sizable version 1.0 aimed toward humanitarian crises, while the more portable 2.0 is conceived for single-person use by the homeless. The latter model appears to be the main focus of the designer.

Cardborigami 2.0 weighs 10.5 pounds (almost 5 kg), and is finished with fire-retardant and water-resistant coatings. It folds easily, and can be erected in under a minute by one person – no assembly required.

However, the Cardborigami units only make up part of Hovsepian's approach. The designer is also planning to create the Cardborigami Outreach Center, where homeless people will learn how to use the shelter properly, in addition to receiving all the help they need to move into more permanent accommodation.

At present, Cardborigami is still in the prototype stage, and Hovsepian is seeking to collaborate with like-minded organizations and investors in order to get the project off the ground. The project is also the subject of a crowd-funding campaign on GoFundMe.

The pitch video below offers some background and shows the shelter being erected.

Source: Cardborigami, GoFundMe via Archinect

Cardborigami in the Community

View gallery - 7 images
5 comments
Todd Dunning
If I only had a nickel for the misguided feelgood projects the average postDoc puts out.
Homelessness is already solved. There are more than enough shelters in any metro area. The problem is that they don't allow alcohol and drugs, and many homeless don't want to be helped.
Does anyone else see the problem with making living - and dying - on the street a comfortable alternative?
David Clarke
This would be good in disaster areas. If made out of dual walled polypropylene plastic it would be waterproof, and lighter than cardboard. why not use re-cycled plastic?It could be held down by ropes in case of strong winds.
Dave B13
"If made out of dual walled polypropylene plastic it would be waterproof, and lighter than cardboard. why not use re-cycled plastic?"
The material is called Coroplast, and they have a web page. After an election the Coroplast campaign posters could be taken down, and with duct tape , aluminum foil, plans , knife for cutting, yardstick for measuring , pen for marking you could make your own folding tent & a solar cooker to boot. Ah, yeah there is a web page for DIY solar cookers, some articles include a plan.
Seen something very much like this a few years back, most likely on Gizmag (or Gizmo) , similar structure, similar proposal, but they did'nt have the GIVE US MONEY thing down, quite so well. Oh yeah, while I'm raining on your parade, could you put something out about the geometry, so I can make my own ( I'm not homeless, I just think poorly). Also, all the resourceful homeless reading this in the local Public Libarary, and the urban 3rd worlders on their I-pods would probably put the information to good use.
Dan Parker
So, either the homeless find a free cardboard box to live in, or they buy one of these. At the end of the day, they're still living in a cardboard box. Instead of inventing a better cardboard box, how about spending that energy coming up with appropriate and proper housing for those unfortunate enough to find themselves homeless. The very fact that America, one of the wealthiest countries on earth, has a homeless problem is one of its greatest shames.
CLeeR_Enterprises
Homelessness may be an issue but the underlying cause of homelessness-excessive governmental interference in regulations governing business is the heart of the matter. The cost each person incurs attempting to comply with Federal regulations and taxation inhibits expansion and additional employment. But for this excessive state/federal governmental regulations, most small and mid sized businesses could afford to add additional employees resulting in a significant reduction in homelessness and low income wage earners. When one includes the exclusion of proper financial education in public education results in people making devastating and erroneous personal financial decisions that quite often result in the loss of monetary expansion and growth of personal investments-bad financial choices. An example is the debt incurred in attempting to pay for a college education. Incurring massive amounts of debt to pay for overpriced college education does not have to be a staple of every day education. Going to college debt free is quite feasible and possible except that the Federal government control of banking-by investors in banking and financial institutions (members of ALL political party's in Congress, the Federal Courts and the Executive branch) prevents knowledge of personal living and attending college debt free. As has been so eloquently stated above, here is an idea which is in the truest sense of free market capitalism, that could easily provide the desired funding the creator desires. Use recycled plastics to manufacture this product. Make this product insulated sufficiently to withstand cold temperatures encountered by the homeless in most northern cities and this product will sell in the outdoor enthusiast community. The product has admirable potential IF the creator/manufacturer has foresight. Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.