Urban Rough Sleeper: Expandable backpack shelter for the homeless

Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling
© Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling

Homelessness is a complex issue woven with a myriad of socioeconomic and environmental factors -- and one that obviously needs strong political will and action on the community level to be resolved.

In the meantime, one of the most essential and urgent needs is to have some kind of shelter. On the design front, we've seen some interesting creative contributions, from shelters-in-a-cart to tent-toting shoes, made for providing some protection against the exterior elements. For his thesis project, Danish designer Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling created an expandable, multifunctional mobile backpack shelter for homeless individuals sleeping rough on city streets, also doubling as portable storage for possessions.

© Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling
© Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling
© Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling

Terpling -- who studied both design and journalism at the Kolding Design Institute -- created the Urban Rough Sleepers out of first-hand knowledge of the everyday basic needs of the homeless, says Designboom:

Informed by real experiences of homeless people living in the streets, the ‘urban rough sleeper’ backpack by Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling supports and improves the current lifestyle of the impoverished by meeting some of their most basic needs: storage, mobility and shelter.

© Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling

It's essentially a compact, one-person tent that can be compressed into a portable bag, which can store things when the user is on the go, in addition to larger, extra items like shoes and blankets which can be tied to the bag's exterior.

Terpling is also proposing an interesting business model; this expandable tent is intended to be sold as camping gear, with 10 percent of the proceeds going towards subsidizing the same tent for individuals who cannot afford it.

© Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling

While a project like this may not end homelessness, it does address the immediate priorities of those who live on the street, in addition to suggesting some ways that those who have more can help those who have not. Durable and versatile, this project could be a great boost to those who may have no shelter -- other than what they carry -- to call home. More over at Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling.

Tags: Architecture | Camping | Urban Life

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