As the future will see a soaring number of displaced populations that do not have access to energy infrastructure or economic opportunities, it is crucial to re-think a model for disaster relief which could act as an incubator for self-sustainable, non-polluting food production, with both immediate and long term repercussions.
As a possible solution, we propose the Aquaponic Shelter Kit. It integrates the structure of a basic pitched tent with an aquaponic system of sustainable food production that integrates aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (the cultivation of plants in nutrient solution). This symbiotic system is re-designed as an easy to assemble, solar powered emergency shelter kit that could provide displaced populations with shelter, food and further along, means for income generation. Because it is a form of agriculture based on a closed cycle of production without reliance on soils, it is a system that can be deployed anywhere, even in conditions where soil contaminations may have prevented planting. The aquaponic system used in the A.S.K necessitates much lower amounts of energy than other forms of agriculture, while maintaining high production yields.
Not only does it preserve non-renewable energy resources such as earth and water but it also limits pollution since it uses no chemical fertilizers and no non-renewable energy inputs. In traditional farming, the production of fertilizers and fish nutrients are also the highest energy consumers. In addition, what little power is needed to use the pump is harvested through a solar panel.
Finally, passive energy transfers between the aquaponic system and the interior of the tent creates a comfortable living space.
Team: Aziza Chaouni| Jeannette Kuo