AGRIshelter is a solution for the shortage of refugee shelters that considers social, urban, environmental and economic factors. It is built of biodegradable, zero-km materials, which are durable, provide good insulation and are readily available in every city. The jury stated: ‘There is a little utopian thinking revealed in this project, but that’s a whole lot better than a dystopia.’

The whole 35-m2 unit can be erected in a few hours by people with minimum skills. It’s also easy to demolish. The prefabricated wooden-frame foundation supports walls made of straw bales and wooden doors and window frames. The roof is made of folded canvas. A cistern on the north side collects water. AGRIshelters can be built on vacant urban sites to prevent the formation of ghettoes on the edges of cities.

‘We’ve made quite a progress and Agrishelter now is an actual startup,’ writes founder and CEO Narges Mofarahian. ‘In January 2018 we won a prize in a competition in Italy called “Welfare che impresa”, that called for innovative ideas that can have high social impact.’ The prize yielded Agrishelter 60.000 euros of investment by Accenture foundation, SNAM foundation and UBI bank plus an incubation program in Polihub, ‘the 3rd university start-up incubator worldwide,’ according to Mofarahian.

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