Kingston University graduate design student Younghwa Lee has created an innovative indoor shelter for use during an earthquake—a folding door that not only stands in the safest place in a home, but also provides protection from falling debris. In the event of an earthquake, it is best to stand in a doorway or take shelter under a table to avoid falling debris, and Younghwa Lee’s ingenious creation provides additional shelter directly beneath rigid door frames.
Design student Lee constructed her prototype door,so that it hinges horizontally within its frame to create an angled overhang. This creates a big enough shelter for up to two people to take cover under. It’s also sturdy, as the door folds in such a way that part of it remains braced against the floor in order to provide stronger structural protection. The door/shelter’s sloped angle also encourages debris to slide off rather than collect on top.
Due to the devastating earthquakes seen recently in Iran, Lee has also planned for the worst by building hidden cabinet of emergency supplies into the door frame. It consists of water, flashlights and medicine, and should be useful for those caught in an earthquake all of a sudden.
Younghwa has said that she designed her door with the city of Istanbul in mind, as the U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated that there is a 70% chance the city will be hit by an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale before 2030.
Without adequate facilities, there is the possibility that such a quake could result in the death of up to 150,000 people. However these inexpensive doors could save countless lives if installed through the city.