Folding Door Design Acts as Instant Earthquake Shelter

Younghwa Lee Earthquake Emergency Shelter Door© Younghwa Lee

With news of earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters not far off our collective radar, disaster preparedness is something many of us might think about and actively practice -- and of course, that includes actually surviving the initial event first.

Beginning with the idea of "standing under a doorway during an earthquake," Kingston University graduate design student Younghwa Lee created this door that can bend in order to create a protective shelter from falling debris.

Younghwa Lee Earthquake Emergency Shelter Door© Younghwa Lee

Lee constructed a prototype that hinges horizontally within its frame to create an angled overhang, which up to two people may take cover under. The door folds in a way so that part of the door remains braced against the floor, providing stronger structural protection, while its sloped angle encourages debris to slide off rather than collect on top.

Younghwa Lee Earthquake Emergency Shelter Door© Younghwa Lee

The door frame also has a hidden cabinet of emergency supplies of water, flashlights and medicine. It's a good add-on that buildings in earthquake-prone areas could potentially equip, says Gizmag:

Younghwa designed her door with the city of Istanbul in mind, as the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated there is a 70 per cent chance the city will be hit by an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale before 2030, possibly resulting in up to 150,000 fatalities. She thinks her doors could be inexpensively installed in many of the homes in that city.

Related Content on