Our observations and surveys helped us in deriving concepts of housing which would address to the needs of the urban homeless. How do we cater to their ever-shifting, ever-changing dynamic lifestyle? What would be the apt material to build a temporary shelter? Could they move along with it? Could it mould itself according to the users need?
Our quest for an impact full solution led us to market research and prototyping various designs and material options, testing them for structural stability, climate and user response.We now started working on our first prototype.Throughout this process we focused on the fact that the unit had to be assemble-able by home owner or any unskilled labour, within a short span of time and the materials used for the unit should be economical and easily accessible.
After examining various materials we zeroed in on slotted angle palette racks for walls. These storage units cladded with Galvalume sheet on the exterior doubled up for thermal comfort as well. The basic design gave segregated space for sleeping, kitchen and verandah. The modular design of the assembly catered to expansion and flexible usage of spaces. The sheet thickness and material could be varied as per availability and budget.
Our learning from prototyping and testing stages were immense – we realised corrugated sheets would not work well with slotted angles; the door had to be of a lighter material; a fabricator was not able to handle slotted angles, and so on. This gave us even more room for thought, and gave us the impetus to work on our second version.