The modern world is overwhelmed with what feels like countless crises‒climate change, human displacement, and global pandemics begins a list that barely scrapes the surface. Architects and designers alike have been taking notice and utilizing their learned disciplines to provide relief. Entering the conversation around structural relief projects, Hariri & Hariri, a New York-based architecture firm founded by Iranian sisters Gisue and Mojgan Hariri, debuted their own solution: a prefabricated folding pod or cabin that doesn’t require hands-on assembly or the need for hardware or tools.

Modeled after the intricate paper folding art of Origami, the pod’s initial folded form can fit onto flatbed trucks for efficient and manageable shipping. Once positioned for assembly, the pod from Hariri & Hariri readily expands and unfolds to create a prefabricated and modular, single-story housing unit. Born out of a need for emergency shelter across the globe, the architects behind the pod note, “In the middle of a hurricane you don’t have time for a screwdriver.” With this in mind, the pod was designed to instantaneously unfold and build itself with the push of a button. Structured like a pop-up cardboard box, hinges and hidden panels strewn across the pod’s creases aid in the unit’s assembly process. Whether multiple emergency shelters are needed or if the pod is used as a luxury single home unit for a beachside vacation, the modular construction allows the pod to either be configured together with multiple pods to form community shelters or stand alone as a single prefabricated unit.

Hariri & Hariri developed the pod into one that leans on an affordable, transportable, and efficient design by giving it a lightweight and thin exterior build. Constructed with accessible building materials like glass and Equitone panels, the pod can be acquired and utilized by most countries across the globe in need of emergency shelters. The prefabricated pod boasts simple and speedy assembly and transportation processes, making it an ideal modular unit for any event from beachside couple retreats to crowded music events or even extreme emergencies that call for immediate shelter units.

Designer: Hariri & Hariri

When situated in clusters, the pod from Hariri & Hariri can create community-wide shelters in the case of emergencies.

Alternatively, the pod can make for the perfect beachside getaway, with an open-air layout and expansive windows.

The pod can also function as a luxury single-residency for longer vacations.

Inside, the pods are roomy and offer sweeping views of the outdoors.

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