Tents for refugees that collect rainwater and store solar energy

An innovative solution for the rights of current and future generations

Image source: “Is Architecture a Social Technology?” – Ref. https://abeerseikaly.com/is-architecture-a-social-technology/

“I have a vision of communities empowered to develop their own well-being and dignity; inspiring practical living spaces in symbiosis with nature.”

Abeer Seikaly, the creative thinker behind the renowned social and environmental project “Weaving a Home”, is a young Palestinian architect from Jordan working on innovative architecture, design, arts and cultural production.

These refugee tents are part of an ongoing project since 2013, designed to provide shelter for displaced communities while protecting the environment. Through his work, Abeer explores how architecture can work as a tool with immediate social impact, providing refugees with housing that includes various amenities for a dignified and modern life.

Inspired by the consequences of the civil war in Syria, Abeer imagined a technological solution that would protect the rights of current and future generations, guaranteeing migrants and their families the right to dignified housing, producing positive transgenerational effects, thereby integrating the interests of future generations by protecting the environment through a sustainable engineering approach.

According to Abeer, nature, tradition and technology are elements that seem to be perpetually linked. Therefore, through a design particularly inspired by nature, “Weaving a Home” employs a specific structural textile made of high-strength plastic tubes, molded in sinusoidal curves that can unfold and close according to various weather conditions, and can also be disassembled, facilitating mobility and transportation. The tents can also collect rainwater, thus ensuring basic sanitary conditions, and absorb solar energy, converting it into electrical energy stored in specific batteries.

Recently, she has also launched a collective program called “Meeting Spaces”, which is a direct evolution of the tent project and is an artistic and collective expression of her vision. Through this, she raises the question of the relevance of cultural heritage in a globalized society, and how we can revive these traditional knowledge systems to innovate and create new material technologies.

An inspiring story that deserves to be highlighted, and that promotes sustainable development through alternative solutions to global problems.

Aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this project not only aims to create an innovative and resilient infrastructure that harnesses renewable energy (addressing SDGs #7 and #9), but also makes a remarkable contribution to other sustainable goals. Therefore, the Normandy Peace Chair identifies in the summary table below the contribution of this project to the 2030 Agenda:

Sustainable Development Goals

This action agrees with Sustainable Development Goals defined by UN.

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01. no poverty01. no poverty
02. zero hunger02. zero hunger
03. good health & well being03. good health & well being
04. quality education04. quality education
05. gender equality05. gender equality
06. clean water & sanitation06. clean water & sanitation
07. affordable & clean energy07. affordable & clean energy
08. decent work & economic growth08. decent work & economic growth
09. industry, innovation & infrastructure09. industry, innovation & infrastructure
10. reduced inequalities10. reduced inequalities
11. sustainable cities & communities11. sustainable cities & communities
12. responsible consumption & production12. responsible consumption & production
13. climate action13. climate action
14. life below water14. life below water
15. life on land15. life on land
16. peace, justice & strong institutions16. peace, justice & strong institutions
17. partnerships for the goals17. partnerships for the goals
Sustainable Development GoalsSustainable Development Goals
01. no poverty
  • 01.2

    Providing housing would help reduce the proportion of men, women and children living in poverty in all its aspects according to the criteria specific to each country.

  • 01.4

    Refugee tents would help ensure that all men and women, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, have access to basic services, and to ownership and control over land and other forms of property.

  • 01.5

    This would help build the resilience of poor and vulnerable populations, while reducing their exposure and fragility to extreme weather events, economic, social and environmental disruptions and disasters, which in this case expose populations to forced migration.

06. clean water & sanitation
  • 06.4

    By collecting rainwater, this would contribute to the efficient use of water resources and reduce the number of people suffering from lack of access to water.

07. affordable & clean energy
  • 07.1

    The project would provide universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services.

  • 07.3.b

    It proposes infrastructure and technology improvements to provide sustainable and modern energy for all.

09. industry, innovation & infrastructure
  • 09.1

    The technology employed by the “Weaving a Home” project develops quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure with an emphasis on affordable and equitable access.

10. reduced inequalities
  • 10.2

    The project would contribute to the self-sufficiency and integration of homeless refugees and migrants.

  • 10.7

    It can help facilitate the migration and mobility of people, ensuring safe housing for those in need.

11. sustainable cities & communities
  • 11.1

    Refugee tents help ensure adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic amenities.

  • 11.4

    Inspired by nature and cultural heritage, the project strengthens efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s natural and cultural heritage.

16. peace, justice & strong institutions
  • 16.1

    The project can help reduce violence by offering a solution to the phenomenon of marginalization of refugees and migrants, which undermines the integration and social cohesion necessary for peaceful and inclusive societies.

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