Walking Shelter: A Tennis Shoe-Tent Combo for Impromptu Siestas

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Photos: SIbling/tin.

While urban shoebox dwellings continue to be, for better or worse, all the rage, Australian design collective Sibling imagines what would happen if you removed “urban” and “box” from the equation with an ingenious — and very much conceptual — portable housing prototype dubbed Walking Shelter.

Ladies and gents, meet shoe dwellings.

As you can see, Walking Shelter essentially involves a one-person nylon tent stashed into the netted back of a pair of sneakers. I suppose, with further development, that these tent-trainers would come in super handy during camping expeditions (for when you really want to pack light), vision quests, and maybe even disaster relief scenarios. Temporary housing for the homeless has even come up as a possibility.

However, the big hitch here is that without any type of included framework, the human body somewhat hilariously provides the structural support which means if you want to go sleepy-time, you'd better do so sitting up. Otherwise, Walking Shelter kind of resembles an awkward mess of a sleeping bag with a built-in front door.

Perhaps the next step for Sibling should be the development of a complementary pole-hat or tarp underpants.

Sibling further elaborates on this clever “mobile habitat” concept which, by the way, was commissioned as a one-off conceptual prototype by Melbourne-based fashion and footwear line, Gorman, for an online charity auction benefitting children’s art therapy school, Little Seeds Big Trees:

The Walking-Shelter is a human shelter stored within a pair of sneakers. Stored compactly in integrated net pockets within the shoe, the shelter expands out and around the body to form an enclosure that relies on the human frame as a supporting structure. The shelter accommodates for the body in a variety of ways and can be customised by the user to adapt to a variety of contexts and environments.

You can view the entire “Choose Your Own Adventure” charity sneaker collection from Gorman here. One pair includes a god’s eye on the toecap, another has pompoms on the laces, and yet another is covered in tree bark. Walking Shelter, as far as I can tell, is the only pair that you can take a disco nap in.

Describing the shoes as being “perfect for outdoorsy people who don’t mind if their feet look dumb,” Grist’s Jess Zimmerman points out that while Walking Shelter shoes are clever, they’re not likely to garner any style awards: ...”they they kind of look like a cross between those comically puffy oversized sneakers and a novelty fishnet decoration at a seafood restaurants.”

Via [Co.Design], [Grist]