Refugee Shelter Wins Design Award

This week our design team visited the new Design Museum in Kensington to see the ‘Beazley Designs of the Year’ exhibition (24th November ’16 – 19th February ’17). The exhibition showcased some of the best design work created during 2016 across disciplines such as: product, architecture, fashion, graphic and transport design. The Beazley Design of the Year Award was given to IKEA for Better Shelter, a flat-pack refugee shelter. Winners in the other design categories included:

Beazley Product Design of the Year: Space Cup
Beazley Graphic Design of the Year: Blackstar
Beazley Fashion Design of the Year: Kids vs Fashion
Beazley Transport Design of the Year: Lumos Helmet


Better Shelter began in 2010 as a small design and innovation project based in Hällefors, Sweden, driven by the belief that sustainable design can make a difference to humanitarian relief.

Forging ground-breaking partnerships with UNHCR and the IKEA Foundation, Better Shelter began to develop ideas and designs for new shelter solutions. Working with designers, engineers, companies and institutions it created prototypes which were tested and further developed using the insights and experiences of refugees in Ethiopia and Iraq.

Better Shelter aims to be the leader in emergency and temporary shelter innovation, and continues to develop its products together with its partners, customers and, most importantly, the people who live in its shelters, collecting invaluable feedback that will make future models even better.

UNHCR signed an initial frame agreement of 30,000 shelters in 2015. Today, thousands of Better Shelters are acting as temporary homes, registration centres, medical facilities and food distribution points in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Better Shelter provides assembly training and support to help its partners use their resources efficiently to provide displaced people with shelter as quickly as possible during or after a humanitarian emergency.

As a social enterprise, Better Shelter strives to create a safer, more dignified home away from home for millions of displaced people across the world through smart design, innovation and modern technology. With and for refugees.