abeer seikaly weaves shelters for disaster relief using patterned fabric
abeer seikaly weaves shelters for disaster relief using patterned fabric abeer seikaly weaves shelters for disaster relief using patterned fabric
mar 06, 2014

abeer seikaly weaves shelters for disaster relief using patterned fabric

abeer seikaly weaves shelters for disaster relief using patterned fabric
all images courtesy of abeer seikaly




‘weaving a home’ by jordanian/canadian designer abeer seikaly proposes a disaster shelter for refugees that is based on temporary huts of nomadic tribes. the use of structural fabric references ancient traditions of joining linear fibers to make complex three-dimensional shapes – the resulting pattern is easy to erect and scale into various functions, from a basket to a tent. the project incorporates technological advances and new methods of assembly of the material, envisioning a system composed of durable plastic members that are threaded to form a singular unit. these flexible envelopes fold across a central axis, with the hollow structural skin enabling necessities such as water and electricity to run through it, similar to a typical stud wall.


‘weaving a home’ was shortlisted for the 2012 LEXUS DESIGN AWARD, a designboom competition run in collaboration with LEXUS.


view of the tent structures closed during winter



exposure to the surrounding elements can be controlled by manipulating the units into different scales and opening and closing the exterior skin. the lightweight, structural fabric seeks to help people weave their lives back together, as they construct the mobile pieces into a home.

view of the tent structures during the day


interior view of the tent when open, the layered skin provides pockets for storage


view of the tent structures during the night


weaving a home


weaving a home


weaving a home


drawings of the single-layer fabric skin


drawings of the double-layer fabric skin


assembly diagram


models showing how the structure collapses down


model studies with cut and scored paper turned into a flexible pattern

  • can I get one?

    graham says:
  • Congrats, you are genius! How much does it cost and how is possible to have one?

    Maria Cristina says:
  • How light is it? Does one carry it in parts: the bottom layer, the top layer, the outer ring, the water storage tank, etc.? Can one person carry the heaviest part, or does it require a vehicle or a beast of burden? Is it fragile, requiring special care when transporting? Does it come with an integral floor? It is truly beautiful to look at and I for one would feel inspired to persevere through hardship if I had such a beautiful oasis to provide rest and solace.

    Anne McComas says:
  • I am interested in price and availabilty

    cheryl podgorski says:
  • who do you contact to purchase one

    michael lain says:
  • This is brilliant!! Well done. What is price and availability? I live in England.

    Andisheh Dawson says:
  • I work in disaster relief. I’m a CERT Trainer in the city of Eugene Oregon and am very interested in where to obtain some of these. Thank you. Lisa

    Lisa Wimberley says:
  • Ingenious ! Desire answers as requested above from others. What is time frame for production, ordering and delivery? Thank you.

    Doran MacKenzie says:
  • I’m interested in price and availability please. Great idea. Brilliant design! I can see how this shelter could be invaluable for people groups sojourning, without a home. And beyond..

    Robin says:
  • very interested in your design – i work with homeless kids and would love to know what the price would be and also if there is a class or instructions to build our own

    Cathy Burton says:
  • Mention the price in India with sizes.

    Annasaheb Nevade says:
  • I’m about to move to Ecuador and will be doing a lot of traveling. I would like to purchase one of these shelters.
    Please contact me with the price and shipping info.

    Thomas J Stanford says:
  • Your design is both beautiful and useful. But it looks as if it would be complicated to fabricate. I suspect that if you are willing to sell these to us non-refugees they will be tremendously expensive, so if I want one, I suppose I’ll have to make it myself. I have made shelters before of various sorts including a nomadic shelter, but I can’t tell from your article what the framing is: how does it stay erect? Does it have a wood frame? Metal? Some other material? Please tell!

    Donna Reale says:
  • I am extremely interested in pricing and availability also, is it possible for you to email me re this – I think you have a product here that you will sell thousands of to the general public – not just as emergency shelters…

    Love it

    Kelly Freeman says:
  • I am interested also in price and availability.

    Tom Carnes says:
  • Congratulations Abeer Seikal a thoughtful, interesting and apparently highly functional design…I suspect this has great potential. And, I’m even more curious about what other problems, issues and challenges are attracting your attention and the high-design / high-function solutions that might come from your contemplating them! If you have a newsletter or PR list I want to be on it!

    Ron Ellis says:
  • how much are these and how can I get one? Can you put a stove in it?

    Marci Lynn says:
  • What a great design I just love what it has to offer. How so I get one?

    Mark Swenson says:
  • These woven dome homes are so fresh and fabulous.
    the portability and truly earth friendly integrative functionality is to be commended. What a wonderfully creative design. Truly inspired and inspirational. How can I help in providing these to those in need?

    Ken Duncan says:
  • Is any one actually making these yet?

    Ken Duncan says:
  • This is a genius. I work with displaced and nomadic communities in India and would love to introduce these shelters into my programs. From reading your article I understand that these shelters are conceptual, not available. Is this correct? If I am mistaken please do advise me on where I may gain further details as to cost. Congratulations with your design and creativity to aid the nomadic and displaced families worldwide. A product that is greatly needed.

    Max Chandra says:
  • These are great, I want to get one for emergencies…it could save us in times of natural disasters also here! Can you please send me the contact details to purchase please.

    mat clifford says:
  • Please advise on availability, prices, models…, thanks

    Jean c DUFOUR says:
  • Please let me know when available…

    W. Gerard Poole says:
  • This needs to be bigger, with interior partitions.

    Maksani says:
  • Is it possibble to buy one ? How much does it cost?

    verica vasiljevic patocchi says:
  • Very interested in price, availability, weight and compact ability.

    J. Dill says:
  • I am definitely interested in purchasing one. Any details would be great.

    Payshun Hamm says:
  • Hi,
    Im interested in financing and investing in this concept.
    Regards, L

    Lacroix says:
  • I am interested in purchasing maybe 3 of these wonderful structures. I live in Australia. Are they for sale ?

    Jane Seymour says:
  • This is ingenious! I’d like to know if they are already being produced, and how to purchase one.

    Kimi Avary says:
  • I would like more info on these, price and availability in Michigan.
    Thank you

    Shawn Ford says:
  • Awesome design, how are these going to be made and distributed to the refugees/facilities? I would be interested in seeing these get out to the many people who need them.

    Ingrid West says:
  • would love to purchase one of these are they available yet

    Donna Muir says:
  • I would be interested in using these with homeless. Please advise on cost and specifics on sizes

    dorothy says:
  • Brilliant! Kudos! What a marvelous design = functional and aesthetic. Appears to be a real and elegant solution for meeting the immediate needs of refugees from climate disruption and other disasters. What is the circumference of the base? Are there different sizes? How is the base anchored to the ground? What is the total weight of those shown in photos? How are these in various weather, wind and temperature extremes? Are these currently in production? How are they being manufactured? Can they be constructed to some level of finish right at whichever sites at which they are needed? How portable are these? Please let us know what we can do to support efforts to get these to be adopted for use. In which regions in the world are they now being used? Which NGO’s or administrative districts/governments are using these now? Are these shelters available to be purchased by individuals or groups? Contact information for sourcing these please. Thank you./

    Susan Harris says:
  • I am interested in price and availability.
    Who do you contact to purchase one?

    Char Butcher says:
  • Are the tents available to purchase

    Tracy klein says:
  • I have many of the same questions about how one can help finance production for these ingenious tents, though I don’t see any replies at all to the questions asked here. I’ve looked at her site and can’t send an email to the contact address…for some reason, Yahoo doesn’t see it as valid. Thanks for any assistance you can give here.

  • where could I buy one of these tents and how much are they?

    Dee Marie says:
  • Hi really great design, how can I buy some?

    Pablo Vasconcelos B says:
  • This is awesome. Are they available for commercial purchase? I think modeling the sales structure after Tom’s (no connection to me) would be a great idea. For each commercial purchase of a shelter, it would pay for an additional shelter for disaster/relief use.

    Tom Tagg says:
  • Would like to see the price and availability. These look like a great new age way to live in Australias outback whilst I am prospecting. Very interested!

    Graeme Brereton says:
  • Interested in price and availability please.

    Traci Kish says:
  • What is the cost? Where can I buy one? Love the concept!

    sandy Chambers says:
  • I am disabled and wondered if this would be light enough to put up by myself? I see many people have asked about price and where one can be purchased from? I too would like to know please. I think this is an absolutely wonderful piece of equipment and would hope it is made available to all, with proceeds going towards disaster relief shelters .

    Sallee Tricker says:
  • Please provide info on pricing to this address. I work in Africa with a displaced people group and would like to know more.

    john triplett says:
  • I’m interested. What are dimensions and price?

    K Motto says:
  • Ingenious! I would also like information about the availability of this tent. Totally amazing. Have you found a place to have them made? A great project for displaced persons to work on as well…..

    Nanci Aiken says:
  • Are these being made? Like everyone else, I would like to know about pricing and availability.

    Eva Squires says:
  • Looks like a great design, with an amazing function. I’m a Canadian living in Wadi Rum, Jordan and would like to explore the option of acquiring at least one for this region as a demonstration. I’m in Amman frequently and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss this further.

    Mike Chirobokow says:
  • I am interested – what is the price – can you deliver to Europe – Austria?

    Adam says:
  • Are there price listings on these structures?

    Jay Coleman says:
  • We all seem to think this is an amazing concept and there is an obvious demand commercially.So are they available to buy or sponsor?

    Stephen Tidy says:
  • Ditto to all of the above. Very interested in these on several levels; please post if/when available, cost, weight, set-up time, and so on. Really amazing; congratulations!

    Lauren Scharf says:
  • Love this, how portable is it ? Love to know more.

    Heather says:
  • I have land in costa rica and have a need for this there. How much would it cost and is it possible to get one or two ? How much do they weigh? Thank you Amazing design!

    Katt Pollard says:
  • I too would be interested in purchasing. Availability? Price? Please let us all know. Thanks

    Barb Hurley says:
  • I realize you can’t put a price on genius but would you try and hopefully it’s affordable. Because I’ ve got to have one of these ! It’s so thoughtful and so humanitarian. You truly earned an atta girl


    Wanda G Davis - Chapman says:
  • I too would like to know the availability and price in order to buy one. Thanks

    John Evans says:
  • I don’t know if anyone is responding to the many requests for more information on availability of these shelters, but if so I too would like to receive updates and details. Thank you!

    C. Langham says:
  • I too would be interested in purchasing. Availability? Price? Please let us all know. Thanks

    Carlos André Fonseca says:
  • Just adding my name to the list of folks who find this amazing and would be interested in pricing/availability… thanks!

    Nicole Galland says:
  • Beautiful.Would be very interested in getting one.

    Denise Heinrich-Lane says:
  • The information came to Serbia. It is amazing. Thank You for this invention. I am a scout leader and very interested. Is the tent prodused in other sizes or only one? Also interested in weight, cost, delivery, lasting..
    Thank You in advance.

    Tanja Jankovic says:
  • Please inform me when I can see one close-up and purchase when available… Sound marvelous!

    W.Blake Derby says:
  • Cost? availability?

    elana says:
  • Your work is beautiful – good for heart and body. Can they be purchased? How? What is the size and price?
    Do you teach how to make these? Can we by one for ourselves as we by another for a refugee in need? So many questions. Your work is great. Thank you. I hope you answer.

    Kristin Kreiger says:
  • Please tell me these exist and are available to buy. Amazing concept.

    Phil D says:

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