Designing Tools for Emergency Shelters

Thursday, April 9, 2020
U.S. Airmen and_family members from Tinker Air Force Base in a disaster.

Last summer, Seo Joon Lee (M.F.A., Design, 2016) was awarded a patent for his Truss-Ties, multidirectional zip ties he designed as part of his M.F.A. project to address the immediate need for shelter after a disaster.

His research found that existing solutions tend to include bulky, expensive materials that are hard to construct and difficult to transport, leaving people vulnerable for long periods of time. He saw the news images of people living among piles of rubble and realized there was an abundant material already available: existing debris left in the aftermath.

Lee worked on different prototypes, aiming to create a tool that could join pieces of wood or metal into a structure capable of supporting makeshift walls and roofs made of blankets, curtains, tarps and other salvaged materials. His final Truss-Ties are lightweight and easy to use—no hammers, nails or other tools required.

Learn more about Lee, his Truss-Ties and his full evolutionary Shelter System to help victims throughout all stages of recovery.

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