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  • This project was in response to the RSA Design Directions competition 2005/6 “Optimising Relief Supply Materials in Disaster Areas.” The brief focused on how packaging materials used for humanitarian supplies in natural disaster areas could be reutilised in a way that would help target the real needs of refugees.

    Initial research included contacting emergency organisations, utilising internet resources and watching news reports of the Kashmir earthquake which had struck during the first week of October. A number of meetings were set up with a senior lecturer in disaster management who had firsthand experience of disaster areas and refugee camps which allowed the project to focus on less obvious needs that can be overlooked by Emergency organisations. The eureka moment for this project came after watching a news report that included images of wooden packing crates being unloaded off a military plane. I realised that with a little help from a CNC router these crates could be turned in to a large variety of flat–pack aid.

    Two crates were then developed to address slightly different needs. Crate A tackled the obvious need for injured people to be moved. It also doubles as a bed for use inside the refugee camps since when sleeping on the floor 30% of body heat is lost through the ground. Crate B supplies two pairs of crutches. Both crates can be used to build a table as well. These are essential for preparing and storing food off the floor and away from any vermin which are often rife in natural disaster areas. All crates will come equipped with a cheap reusable saw and any fasteners that will be required to assemble these potentially lifesaving products.

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