Kathryn Jane Luke

Interior & Environmental Design BDes (Hons)

The Disaster Kit: Re-humanising disaster response solutions


Kathryn Luke

The Disaster Kit seeks to explore how can we better design permanent disaster response housing solutions to be sustainable, adaptable, humanistic and easy to assemble/repair whilst standing up to increasing extreme weather in pacific nations. The project draws inspiration from traditional Polynesian forms, originating in a united culture that spans over 800,000 sq miles and thousands of years. 

The Disaster Kit is a simple kit of parts that can be transported on the back of a small truck, constructed using simple hand tools and can be broken into three types of unit based on the fundamental human tãwharau (shelter) requirements. Social, sleep and wash units can be combined, mixed and matched, and opened up into one large space. The kit comprises of a folding base, swivelling walls/pegboard panels, bamboo poles, triangular panels, adjustable cane shading, and Hubs geodesic dome connector kit. This modular kit can also be added to with transparent photovoltaic panels, grow zones and other customisable options, offering the option for communities to become self-reliant. 

The Disaster Kit offers the option for locals to replace components if damage occurs, rather than undertaking larger construction jobs that often require highly skilled individuals. This helps the community to focus on what matters most to them post-disaster and allows them to remain geographically close to their whenua (land).

The Disaster Kit

The disaster kit a round building on stilts
Artists impression of the disaster kit buildings on a beach

Isometric showing The Disaster Kits journey from arrival, construction and integration within community.

1:50 abstract sketch model which explores the unit's orientation with a Polynesian star compass.

1:25 model of unit with a section.

Isometrics showing internal of each area of the kit.

Artists impression of three disaster kit buildings on the beach with text explaining components

Exploded isometric showing elements of the kits construction.

Details of 1:4 Model. Constellations cut to cast a starry night shadow and the Hubs connector kit.

1:4 model constructed on a sand dune at Tentsmuir Beach.

Birds eye view from a drone of the disaster kit building on a beach

1:4 model constructed on a sand dune at Tentsmuir Beach.