Activism

Students Design Refugee Coat That Converts Into A Sleeping Bag Or Tent

This insulated poncho transforms into a tent or sleeping bag while safely storing important documents.

With 100 million people displaced in the world, innovative solutions to care for them need to be presented and implemented yesterday. Thankfully, brilliant minds are at work, and one of the solutions – a coat that converts into a sleeping bag or tent – was actually developed by university students.

Reuters reports that a group of interior design students from London’s Royal College of Art designed the perfect outerwear for refugees – a poncho that transforms into a tent or sleeping bag while safely storing important documents.

Large, waterproof pockets for carrying vital papers and supplies have been implemented into the wearable shelter. In addition, it offers the convenience of an easy folding method to create a warm sleeping bag. Or, one can add a few kit rods to construct a personal tent.

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The students took part in an intense “hackathon,” working with guidance from the organization Doctors Without Borders. The ultimate aim was to create what they’re calling “wearable habitations.”

“While our wearable won’t solve the whole problem it addresses a small part of it,’ Dr. Harriet Harriss said. “Its conspicuous, provocative design also acts as a kind of spotlight on the crisis, serving as a reminder to us all about the need to continue to press forward in finding an integrated and lasting solution to the problem.”

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Factory-ready prototypes were paid for by WALL Fashion London, and the final design was launched by the students in a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money needed to bring their idea to market. Unfortunately, the project did fall short of its goal. However, the prototype may serve as a guide for future entrepreneurs to use to assist displaced refugees.

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