Cardborigami is an innovative and thoughtful approach to alleviate homelessness due to disaster or poverty. The product is a portable shelter that provides privacy and protection from the elements. The shelters are waterproof, flame-retardant, and can fold open and closed in less than a minute with no assembly required. This provides instant space and shelter for those who have nothing. When not in use or when being transported, each unit can be folded into a size that is easily carried by a single person.
The idea for Cardborigami began in the fall of 2007 when its inventor, Tina Hovsepian, was in her 4th year of studies at the USC School of Architecture. Its primary material – standard cardboard - was chosen after various experiments demonstrated its natural insulation and structural qualities. The ancient Japanese art of paper folding, known as origami, inspired the structure and form of the shelter and lent to the final product’s compact and portable nature. In addition the folds also provided structural stability. Thus, the name cardboard origami = Cardborigami.
Initially designed as an alternative to the standard sized Airstream trailer per the studio’s design requirements, it would later receive some revisions as its potential for emergency shelter became evident. Version 2.0 is modified to include an innovative water-proofing and flame-retarding treatment that would be the inspiration of an entire non profit organization with the mission to provide temporary portable shelter to people while helping them find permanent housing.
Cardborigami's vision is to bridge the gap between design and humanity by attracting attention to social issues such as homelessness through design.