Competition Details

ZIP - Simple modules, Multiple configurations

by Ming-Shun Lu

The ZIP is an eco-friendly instant shelter that utilizes zippers to connect various triangular modules to develop multiple configurations of emergency shelters for habitation.

From a simple process of zipping together modules into patterns and folding these units, ZIP can be assembled and disassembled in a short time. The basic pyramid shape is simple but strong and could be further developed to make different-sized shelter units to accommodate users’ needs (for sleeping quarters, first aid centers, kitchen, shower room or portable toilet).

The base material is composed of three layers: waterproof polyethylene, cardboard and polyethylene adhesion. Each module is composed of two thicknesses of this material with a zipper joining these double-thick modules. Additional insulation layers for cold, heat or snow could be added depending on different weather conditions. By using standard-sized sheets of cardboard (3’x 6’), the materials are recyclable, cost-effective and easy to mass-produce. By simply unfolding and unzipping, ZIP is easy to dismantle and pile up for storage, delivery and re-use. With flexibility and versatility, the shelter can provide accommodation for different quantities of users such as individuals, families or other relief workers.

With 3/4-inch diameter holes at each corner of the modules, the design allows for multiple canopy-like shelters by stringing guy ropes through these holes. Each shelter would be stabilized by attaching guy ropes fixed to pegs inserted in the ground.

Using different options for connecting segments into units, ZIP has a variety of possibilities for alternate configurations to adapt to diverse conditions.

In conclusion, ZIP relies on the concept of “Simple modules, multiple configurations” to respond to the challenge of temporary emergency shelter design. By using recyclable standard-sized modules (3’x 6’) with insulation ability, ZIP could be simply delivered and constructed to accommodate different users’ needs.