When a natural disaster or humanitarian crisis strikes, the first goal for responders is providing basic necessities like shelter, food and water. After those basics are met, information is a vital need - that's why NGO Libraries Without Borders and UNHCR turned to designer extraordinaire Philippe Starck for help. The resulting Ideas Box is a colorful multi-media information center packed with all kinds of good material. The popup modular libraries can be easily shipped to crisis spots across the globe, where they provide both hope and distraction in times of duress.
According to PSFK, Patrick Weil, the Chairman of Libraries Without Borders, never worked with a designer before, but has heard of Philippe Starck. So he sent a letter without much hope and the French designer agreed on helping out – free of charge! The Ideas Box library had to meet six specific requirements: it has to be global, portable, user-friendly, adaptable and efficient to produce.
It consists of five color-coded modules containing books, games, and creative supplies. The modules can also be turned into furniture, providing desks and chairs for up to 24 people. Technologically speaking they are very well equipped; they come with USB ports, WiFi, tablets, e-readers and also video cameras.
Ideas Box was already tested out in a refugee camp on the eastern part of the Congo, where 37,000 refugees benefited from the wonders inside. Check out the video above!
Photos by Dave Pinter