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IKEA's refugee hut crowned Design of the Year

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IKEA's refugee hut crowned Design of the Year
The IKEA Better Shelter on display in London. Photo: Alastair Grant/AP/TT
12:33 CET+01:00
IKEA's design for a flatpack refugee hut has won the prestigious Design of the Year award, beating off competitors such as David Bowie's last album and a robot which can do surgical operations.
”We are incredibly proud to be bringing home both the Beazley Designs of the Year Award for Architecture and this year's Grand Prize – especially in a year with such intense competition,” Johan Karlsson, the founder and acting Managing Director for Better Shelter said in a press release. 
 
But as he accepted, he admitted he had “mixed emotions”, given a continuing refugee crisis. 
 
“We accept this award with mixed emotions – while we are pleased that this kind of design is honoured, we are aware that it has been developed in response to the humanitarian needs that have arisen as the result of the refugee crisis,” Karlsson said in a press release. 
 
Shortly after the award was given, US president Donald Trump signed an executive order banning refugees from seven Muslim countries, including Syria, from seeking asylum in his country. 
 
Better Shelter, developed in collaboration with the IKEA Foundation and UNHCR, is a flatpack design which can be erected by four adults in four hours, and which can comfortably house a family of five. 
 
While at $1,250, the hut costs twice as much as a standard refugee shelter, but is designed to last for at least three years, and provides a lockable door, stab-proof plastic cladding, and electricity through a solar generator. 
 
More than 16,000 of the huts have already been delivered to Iraq, Djibouti, Niger, Etiopia, Nepal, Greece, Macedonia and Chad.
 
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