I received my MFA this spring from Art Center College of Design’s Media Design Practices program. Before graduate school I worked on green infrastructure (green roofs, street-level rain capture), studied human geography at Dartmouth, and spent 18 years in rural Vermont.
TARPguide is a double-sided, single-page instructional manual intended to help populations displaced due to natural disaster or conflict construct their immediate shelters. It is a communication design solution to some of the problems surrounding shelter construction, intended to support the immediate response work of the aid community, and to be distributed with standard blue tarpaulins.
The topic of disaster response shelter is often discussed by designers, but issues of cost, availability, and practicality are seldom given the importance that they assume in the real world. The strengths of this solution are that it works with materials that are commonly available to displaced populations and aid workers, empowers through the distribution of knowledge, and costs a minimum to produce.
This project was conceived in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the tide of shelter concepts that flooded industrial design blogs afterwards. It was adapted by the Red Cross in the materials that accompany their Shelter Kit.
TARPguide was a collaboration. I contributed research and strategy, and the graphic and information design credit goes to the rest of the TYTHEdesign team. The guide is intended to be downloaded and shared.