Interactive Socio-Technical Practicum

Creating an Origami Shelter Prototype for Migratory Populations of Himachal Pradesh

Students:Daniel Felix, Ben Andrews, Edson Novinyo, Mehta Kumar Jitesh, Kunal Joshi.
Mentors: Dr. Viswanath, Dr. O. P. Singh

Within Himachal Pradesh, India, there is a scarcity of proper temporary shelters built to withstand rough weather patterns, creating difficulty for the diverse, transitory populace. With the goal of creating a marketable, portable shelter, we investigated using origami as a tool to improve shelter quality. We have collaborated with local community to understand the stakeholders’ shelter constraints using interviews. Based on their responses, we designed and built a prototype that will address both origami and their needs.

Project Outcomes

Origami shelter prototype: Dome origami structure

The prototype that we built can be seen in Figure 13. The dimensions are 104cm for the height and 194cm for the diameter. We chose this design based on the results from the checklist mentioned earlier. The prototype is made from cardboard and plastic tarpaulin, with Velcro attachments. The prototype is circular because it will help with wind resistance. Also, there is an attached floor to help the inside stay clean and add protection from insects and rain for the user. There are backpack straps attached for easy transportation. When compressed the structure is 23cm thick and 158cm long. The entire structure weighs 15kg.
Recommendations for future projects

There is room for improvement in the design of the shelter. The materials that we obtained were out of convenience because of time constraints and the difficulty in delivering from long distances. If ordered sooner, corrugated plastic sheets can replace cardboard to significantly reduce weight. Furthermore, the need for tarpaulin would not be necessary since plastic sheets are waterproof. Overall, for future projects, advanced research should be considered to find materials to improve the quality of the shelter design.

Please download executive summary, report and poster for more details