The Heap
Copyright Kogakuin University

Copyright Kogakuin University

Shelter from the Dorm

The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan earlier this year has since fallen off most of the world’s radar, but it’s still very much an everyday reality for many Japanese. A lot of those individuals are still displaced, living in large impersonal spaces like dormitories and gymnasiums.

Copyright Kogakuin University

Japan for Sustainability reports that Toshihiko Suzuki, a professor of the School of Architecture at Kogakuin University in Tokyo, has devised a simple way to turn corrugated cardboard boxes into sturdy individual shelters. The more popular version creates a pup-tent-like sleeping chamber, while a second, vertically-oriented model provides privacy for dressing, using the toilet or possibly sponge-bathing.

Copyright Kogakuin University

It’s an elegant and noble example of reuse that restores some measure of human dignity and privacy to these refugees. But it’s hard to overlook the fact that these shelters bear a striking resemblance to Snoopy’s doghouse.

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