urban rough sleepers backpack turns into a homeless shelter
urban rough sleepers backpack turns into a homeless shelter urban rough sleepers backpack turns into a homeless shelter
jul 11, 2013

urban rough sleepers backpack turns into a homeless shelter

‘urban rough sleepers’ backpack by ragnhild lübbert terpling turns into a homeless shelter
all images courtesy ragnhild lübbert terpling



informed by real experiences of homeless people living in the streets, the ‘urban rough sleeper’ backpack by kolding school of design graduate ragnhild lübbert terpling supports and improves the current lifestyle of the impoverished by meeting some of their most basic needs: storage, mobility and shelter. conceived to be sold as camping equipment for a general audience, 10% of all profits would then be given to those without adequate housing for a free urban rough sleeper. the hybrid backpack expands into a fully retractable tent-like structure, providing extensive shelter for both those in need or for encampment purposes. once compressed, the bag supplies enough space for storing essential living supplies; blankets, shoes, and other toiletries.



the ‘urban rough sleeper’ backpack supports and improves the current lifestyle of the homeless



urban sleepers expanded into ‘sleep mode’



backpack compressed view



backpack expanded view



‘urban sleeper’ being used in context

  • Very cool project but I can’t help but wonder if the very demographic this product is designed for are people on the fringe who eschew consumerism and societal norms and who would not or could not ever purchase it. Perhaps this would be a more successful product if it was an open source plan that could be constructed from materials easily found on the street.

    Ben Salthouse says:
  • Since when is being homeless a “lifestyle”..? Lifestyle is by choice, no one elects to be homeless.

    George says:
  • cool tent, not sure how good a backpack it would make though

    SJS says:
  • This is brilliant! Is it available in Canada? If so, where? If not, how can we get them here?

    Kip says:
  • Since when is being homeless a “lifestyle”..? Lifestyle is by choice, no one elects to be homeless.

    there is a whole culture of those who choose to be “homeless” hence some of the images are captured in a rail yard.

    Fujin says:
  • Brilliant and yes I would buy some for those less fortunate and one for the wife and I.

    Rushwhat says:
  • I’ve worked with the homeless for several years, and i like your concept. brilliant design. ideal for easy transport, breaks down fast
    would love to hear from you to mass produce for over crowded shelters, homeless corridor. please contact me at my email thanks

    tony says:
  • Many are “homeless” by circumstance…many by choice as well…don’t judge till you have been both…

    Great concept!!!
    Long term durability- projected to 3 seasons?
    Water infiltration, condensation and ground dampness issues?
    Project costs compared to viable market?
    Test “double walling” for comfort, moisture control, and durability.
    Next phase-design in maintenance and repair elements.

    Good Luck,

    Jay C. White Cloud says:
  • Its great to see more of these being design however I think this started in Australia as a low cost shelter project to people living rough. Have a look at http://swags.org.au/

    This has been in use in Australia in a variety of weather conditions and in disaster zones around the world.

    Good luck with your project.

    Justin L.H says:
  • The idea and there conception seams great for me. I thing big citys should spend them free of charge to homelesses…

    Hofer says:
  • Where can one of these shelters be bought? I am homeless by circumstance and would like to buy one?
    Are they waterproof and can be used in the winter?


    Jaay says:
  • I notice no one answers answers to this post. Is there contact information to someone who will?

    GraywolfSurvival says:
  • I am happy to see that designers are working to help this population. However, I view this as a useful product for younger, stronger, healthier people with and “on the road” lifestyle than for my chronically homeless contacts in the northeast.

    DrMMcLaughlin says:
  • Wow! Cool! great! On the other hand, if 70% of the land in the UK was not owned by less than1% of the population, maybe people could support themselves instead of living lives of utter misery?
    Homeless? Youre exactly where the government wants yo to be, but will never admit it.

    Ann Archist says:
  • I agree, Ann, but maybe with a little twist this idea could help visualize the problem, to adress the roots of it -beyond patching- and at the same time bring more safety and comfort to those who suffer it.

    Jess Butt says:
  • I guess its not being sold yet, its just a project!! Im looking for it!

    Gabriel says:
  • I’m homeless and this looks like a good tent design. The fabric looks thick, which should give the tent some extra protection from the elements and from other two legged animals, particular the ones carrying knives and razors. These creatures like to cut slits on tents while the occupant/s sleep, and then steal whatever they can get their hands on. A thick fabric, perhaps a thick canvas, can make it very hard for thieves to cut through the fabric.

    I would buy one of these. I’m one of those employed homeless people. So I got a bit of cash. The purchased the tent I’m using now at Walmart for $69.00. It’s not the best tent, but it does the job.

    John B says:

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