Cardborigami: Designed to Help the Homeless

Tina Hovsepian of global architecture firm Callison was driven by the need to help homeless individuals in Los Angeles when she designed the first prototype for the “Cardborigami” shelter during her fourth year at USC’s School of Architecture. Cardborigami, which has grown into a non-profit organization, provides temporary housing for the homeless as part of a process to help them gradually overcome their state of homelessness.

The Cardborigami shelter balances innovative design and functionality. The application of traditional origami techniques onto cardboard gives the shelter a beautiful form. Before its modified origami form, the shelter was originally a re-design of an Air-stream trailer. “The idea is to deploy a trailer to a disaster site where mass shelter is needed, then the trailer expands to 20 times its length and twice its width to provide instant space,” Hovsepian explained over email. “The form was then revised and re-scaled to fulfill its potential as a portable…