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2015-08

Second Level - of the Maslow Pyramid 

28 Aug 2015 - By Mr. Berqstrom

To bring the SafeTent Project further, I discussed it with the CEO of O.B.Wiik - a major Norwegian distributer of tents to refugee camps. When talking about camp safety, he informed me that this would not be an issue for them untill Humanitarian Relief Organizations (their customers) demanded it. In other words he explained that they today where only asked to contribute to the first step of the Maslow pyramid in refugee camps.

I followed this up by presenting the SafeTent Project to the organisation: Norwegian People's Aid. At this point they did not run any refugee camps themself, but by email they did confirm the great challange with rape and violence in refugee camps

So if this challange is known, why is there no / or little drive to help residents in these camps to the Next level of the Maslow pyramid? It might be diffcult to fullfill all needs at the Safety Level. But basic Security, so People can feel safe among neighbours, is that to much to provide for people who have lost everything?

I hope the SafeTent initiativ can become an "ice braker" so the Relief  Business can see how new architectural solution will bring a better standard to the people in need, at a low cost.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; Source: Researchhistory.org
A. H. Maslow, Theory of Human Motivation (1943)

Secure Tent for refugee camps
23 Aug 2015 - By Mr. Berqstrom

To help solving the situation with rape and violence in refugee camps, as discussed in the past article (15 Aug), I hereby present the EggCube.org solution for a "SafeTent™".

SafeTent™
SafeTent - secure tent for refugee camps; Source: EggCube.org, by Mr. Berqstrom
Audun Bergstrom, Secure Tent solution, illustration first published in article at EggCube.org 23 Aug 2015.

The SafeTent™ is easy to assemble as the steel mesh is attached to the bearing steelframe. Simply bolt the prefabicated steelparts togheter before covering the structure with the tent fabric/ canvas. This will be a stable structure when put on flat terrain - no ground work or tent lines needed.

Over time can the residents exchange/ improve the tent fabric with other more permament materials. Insulation might be a challange, therefore will the steel mesh make it possible to attach almost any material to the structure. The tent structure can futhermore be combined with normal fence structures in the camp to create fully functional safe streets, with shops and other facilities.

The intent for this concept is to keep cost down, and use easily available materials on the market. Compared to a standard tent with only frame and fabric/ canvas, will this solution come at a higher cost (due to the increased amount of steel), but with a new standard for safety to the inhabitants of a refugee camps.


Need for solid structures in refugee camps
15 Aug 2015 - By Mr. Berqstrom

Phoebe Weston, a journalist from the Telegraph wrote the 5th of August about life inside the refugee camp "Zaatari" in Jordan.  Its an article worth reading, to get an deeper understandment of the difficulties people have under this conditions.

A general question I belive could be raised for this kind of settings is; how can the physical structure or the site plan plan protect inhabitant from rape and violence? In this kind of tent- camps, it is possible for anybody with a knife- like object to cut through the walls just for accessing and harrassing other people's spaces.

The tent- camp is from an architectural point of view a soft structure that does not create the same kind of protection from other people as the physical obstacles bound in brics and concrete, as known from a regular city. Therefore people can access other parts of the camp much easier than in a normal city structure. I belive this mentioned difference in the material defining the spaces, is boosting the unsecurity among the residents.

But what kind of structures can prevent this? The tent- camp is set up as an cost efficient sollution to temporarily house needed people. Therfore would it not be possible to build with brics or concrete. It would simply cost to much.


© 2015 - www.telegraph.co.uk
The refugee camp "Zaatari" in Jordan; Source: The Telegraph. Image by AP
AP, Zaatari refugee camp, photograph published in article 05 Aug 2015.

To solve this, it could be possible to look into more solid structures than the tent fabric, but still light enough to be considered as a temporarily structure. In other words, a fortress (light as a tent), where the family could feel safe.

More offencive fencing between parts of the camp would create a street- like experience, and secure areas as safe- zones for the inhabitants. This way it would be possible to use fencing as a lightweight architectural obstacles for important corridors in the tent- landscape, and steer the flow of people in a saferer manner.