Origami Fights Homelessness?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Ancient art once again finds itself an inspiration for new solutions. Borrowing principles from the art of Japanese paper folding, USC School of Architecture grad Tina Hovsepian invented Cardborigami, a temporary and ultra-portable shelter that can be used by the homeless or those stricken by natural disasters. The shelter is made from standard corrugated cardboard, a lightweight and cost effective material. Incorporating a consistent pattern of x’s and parallel lines, Tina created a structure that can fold down for portability, but also open up to create the makeshift “walls” of the shelter.Currently in the R&D phase, Hovsepian envisions Cardborigami as waterproof, fire-retardant and even wholly recyclable. She’s testing the current iteration with a by-product of sugar cane, which renders paper waterproof but still non-toxic and recyclable.

Tina is also organizing a non-profit around her invention, which she wants to open in January. She already has a manufacturing company on her team and a few possible board members in mind, including a social entrepreneur who has offered to help distribute her product. If you have anyone else in mind, I’m sure Tina (and the approximately 660,000 homeless in the country) would love to hear from you.

Shelters can fold down to this size

Hovsepian and friend

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4 Responses to “Origami Fights Homelessness?”

  1. AD ansan says:


  2. Debi Pannell says:

    I’d like to know when your product is ready. There are a lot of homeless people I’d like to help.

  3. simon r humphries says:

    Can you design an collapsible sleeping tube (for one) that simply opens and closes like the concertina, that can be convieniently carried around with one, that has controlable ventilation

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