Build up, 2010


This is the first project in ISD. I am doing research on how buildings, shelters and structures have been constructed. The text below is designed to inspire to understand about modular structures, why they are important and how they are developed. After doing the research, our task is to complete a project which is designing a shelter for people who are suffering from natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and floods. Starting this project as team work, our team consists of five students who each have different backgrounds and their own design theories and approaches. The most Important task is to recycle the material which is "Speedo swimsuit". All swimsuits were made for the Beijing Olympics in 2008. This means that they are not needed anymore.

Starting the work

We have started the shelter project based on our research. We decided that our shelter had to be "light weight", "portable" and "easy to build and deliver". First of all, We disassembled a normal tent bought from Argos at £40. This pop up tent had 2 frames and 2 surfaces. It is able to be carried easily by using the folding method. One of the features of this frame is that it bends back into its original shape which is a straight line. also it is flexible.

This sketch is first ideas of shelter how to design it.

This was the first shape for the shelter. We created this form by using a basic geometric form, for instance a circle, a rectangle and a triangle. We decided that we were going to develop the rectangular base. It would be much more space-effective than other shapes.

We performed many tests with this structure. However, there were many problems with it. We found that this structure could not stand alone, because all of the surfaces wanted to go inwards direction. Also, it need extra frames to support the weight of the material. So we attached another frame into the original frame. Our frame was stronger than before. We called it as double layered frame.

Small scale model

It was our new shape for the shelter. Actually, we made two circular shape to connect with the end of the frame. After then, we bent it and crossed the two frame from top to bottom. This model was made of piano wire which is really flexible material and is able to return to previous shape when I put it down. I thought that covering the structure needed a lot of effort, because this surfaces were curved and waved, we could not calculate exact size of the surfaces. However, we can do it, because we do have the handicraft way, although it is an old-fashioned way.

We created this shape as our thought, however it needed extra vertical frame in the middle of each surface. We used branches temporarily and it replaced to aluminium pipe. This shape looks nice and streamline shaped.


We had done the structure of shelter, but they needed to cover their shape to protect itself from the wind and the rain. We had limited material which are swimsuit and boxes. We broke every material and found orange coloured of fabric in the boxes. We decided our idea that usung all part of swimsuit, orange coloured fabric and zip from swimsuit. We made the pattern for top surface. This pattern was influenced by flower. Also we made huge fabric to be patchworked by sewing machine through this project, I learnt the way how to use it accurately.


General information

This diagrams represent how many people need to set up and sleep here, also how many materials we used.

Speed Shelter

We chose the name of shelter as "Speed Shelter" which means that it can be set up quickly and inspired by Speedo company name given us really nice materials.

Concept image

Final cut

Sequence image

Moving image


Chloe and white shirt guy from Speedo, Red coloured knit guy from Ecobuild with shelter!