Shelter, mobility and storage — these are just three of the many issues that homeless people face on a daily basis. But Danish designer Ragnhild Lübbert Terpling has come up with a smart innovation that might help. The Urban Rough Sleeper is a tough, weatherproof tent that rolls up into a backpack, so it can be easily transported throughout the day, and provides extra storage for belongings.
Terpling told Fast Company that she became interested in finding a creative solution for a place where homeless people could rest, protected from the elements, after attending a lecture on the issue. She went to a shelter and spent weeks getting to know the people there and the issues they faced. After interviewing dozens of individuals, two homeless people worked closely with her on the Urban Rough Sleeper’s design. “I made the product in collaboration with homeless people,” Terpling told Fast Company. “I showed them sketches and the design and they gave me feedback on how it would actually work, because they are the experts. They also helped me test the final product.” Terpling is currently working to refine the details of two prototypes, which will then be manufactured. She hopes to sell the Urban Rough Sleeper to camping outfitter companies, and use the proceeds to give away the product to the homeless. It may not solve all the problems facing homeless communities, but it’s a start.