Temporary housing unit Better Shelter featured at Design Miami/Basel 2015


Better Shelter aims to be the leading innovator of scalable solutions for people who have lost their homes due to conflicts and natural disasters. The Better Shelter design team has been acclaimed for the shelter’s groundbreaking design with its many challenges faced in regards to user experience, weather resistance, production effectiveness and cost.  

Design at Large, a part of Design Miami/Basel, presents large-scale works of design not usually exhibited in the traditional gallery booth. This year’s edition revolves around demountable, modular shelters and is curated by the American hotelier and art collector André Balazs. Better Shelter will be featured together with a pavilion by French architect Edouard Francois (Galerie Philippe Gravier), a gas station by French architect Jean Prouve (Galerie Patrick Seguin) a paper pavilion by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban (Nilufar Gallery), a pool house by Dutch collective Atelier Van Lieshout (Carpenters Workshop Gallery) and a 1978 VW Camper presented by Design Miami/.

“We are both excited and honored to collaborate with Better Shelter on this year’s Design at Large Program at Design Miami/ Basel. Their work is crucial to the survival of so many people in dire situations, whether the result of natural or manmade disasters, and mirrors a core belief of Design Miami/, which is that great design can change lives”, says Rodman Primack, Executive Director at Design Miami/.

Creating a modular structure has been the vision of Better Shelter’s designers from the very beginning. Scalability is essential, since a great challenge faced by humanitarian organisations is to rapidly provide shelter for thousands of people in the immediate onset of an emergency. The concept of modularity has made it possible for Better Shelter to industrialise the manufacturing process of the shelter parts, and thus realise larger quantities of the parts leading to reduction of cost of individual components. The modularity of the shelter also makes it possible to flat pack, which gives it a low volume and makes it effective to transport.

“Modular design should be utilised to allow adaption to different cultures and climates whilst retaining a rational production process. There are many shelter providers, but we have found that durability and cost efficiency is not often provided in the same shelter solution,” says Johan Karlsson, Founder of Better Shelter. 

The temporary housing unit Better Shelter has undergone several stages of development and prototyping during the last years. Full-scale production commenced earlier this year and several shelters have recently been deployed in earthquake afflicted areas of Nepal.


Märta Terne, Head of Marketing and Communication, Better Shelter  Email | Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter 


Better Shelter develops and provides innovative housing solutions for people displaced by conflicts and natural disasters. The Better Shelter is a weather proof and socially sustainable temporary shelter and offers a more dignified home for displaced people as well as a cost-effective solution for humanitarian organizations. Better Shelter is a social enterprise, with an entrepreneurial energy and market discipline, aiming to achieve social change at scale in a financially self-sustainable way. Every dollar generated in profit is reinvested within the company or distributed to Better Shelter’s philanthropic owner, the non-profit Housing for All Foundation. The Housing for All Foundation was established by the Ikea Foundation. In early 2015, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR signed a frame agreement of 30,000 shelters for its operations worldwide. For more information, please visit www.bettershelter.org.


Design Miami/ is the global forum for design. Each fair brings together the most influential collectors, gallerists, designers, curators and critics from around the world in celebration of design culture and commerce. Occurring alongside the Art Basel fairs in Miami, USA each December and Basel, Switzerland each June, Design Miami/ has become the premier venue for collecting, exhibiting, discussing and creating collectible design. For more information, please visit www.designmiami.comDesign Miami/ Basel 2015 Show Schedule: Public Show Days: June 16-21 / Preview Day: June 15, 2015 (by invitation only).

09 Jun, 2015 Published by