A special exhibition is set to take place in Sydney next week highlighting the need for emergency shelters in disaster zones.

Australian and International architects recently decided to join together create the exhibition and bring awareness to the public about the role of the design and construction industry in the aftermath of natural disasters.

This exhibition called for shelters that could not only protect people from rain and other elements in emergency situations but also provide a space to feel secure and comfortable in a disastrous environment, fundamental to the recovery process.

The event takes place outside Customs House in Sydney from 1-3 September.

The below concept by Cox Richardson is among those being exhibited.

The firm explains:

The shelter is a response to the physical and emotional needs of the victims of disasters. Upon the dispossession of their livelihoods, victims, however stalwart to begin with, are left to pick up the pieces in states of overwhelming physical and emotional distress.

Images by Cox Richardson

The recovery process is not hampered by a lack of heart but sheer bleakness of circumstance.

The aim is to provide the foundations for recovery by quickly reinstating aspects of daily life that are usually taken for granted but whose absences, particularly in disaster situations, are immediately felt: physical shelter, hygiene, personal ownership, self respect and a sense of community.


In order to show those in need that we are here for them and that they are not alone, we have designed a skeleton and are inviting the rest of Sydney to complete the skin.

Each participant will be given an “ema” (a Japanese prayer tablet) on which they can write their prayers or wishes.

In order to participate, a gold coin donation is required.

This gives the community of Sydney an opportunity to come together and send their love and emotional support to those affected by this disaster in Japan.


The formal concept for the shelter was borne from the pure simplicity and beauty for which Japan is known. Obon, a festival of lanterns occuring once a year in Japan in honor of the departed, also informed our response and helped to imbue the shelter with a much needed familiarity as well as an emotional significance.

Emergency Shelter Australia

Through this exhibition, the 2011 ESE aims to raise funds from sponsors and the public in order to donate to the Tohoku Great Earthquake affected areas.