As climate change continues to wreak havoc, there will be more frequent natural disasters with greater consequences. In the aftermath, when communities are displaced from their homes, they need immediate shelter. Inspired by pinecones, I’ve designed Podcone, a temporary, weather-responsive shelter that aids a community in disaster relief. Pinecones are made of cellulose, which swells when it is cold and/or wet outside, closing the scales of the cone. Podcone mimics this process, keeping the person inside warm and dry. The walls are made of 3D-printed cellulose, an abundant, natural, and inexpensive material, and the swelling properties of cellulose allow the shelter to regulate temperature, humidity, and ventilation. Podcone is lightweight, collapsible, and transportable, making it easy to distribute and set up in times of need.

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