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Abeer Seikaly - Lexus Design Award

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Structural Fabric Weaves Tent Shelters into Communities

abeer seikaly Lexus design awards
Abeer seikaly

Human life throughout history has developed in alternating waves of migration and settlement. The movement of people across the earth led to the discovery of new territories as well as the creation of new communities among strangers forming towns, cities, and nations. Navigating this duality between exploration and settlement, movement and stillness is a fundamental essence of what it means to be human.

abeer seikaly Refugee homes
Abeer seikaly

In the aftermath of global wars and natural disasters over the last century, the world has witnessed the displacement of millions of people across continents. Refugees seeking shelter from disasters carry from their homes what they can and resettle in unknown lands, often starting with nothing but a tent to call home. This project, “Weaving a home” reexamines the traditional architectural concept of tent shelters by creating a technical, structural fabric that expands to enclose and contracts for mobility while providing the comforts of contemporary life (heat, running water, electricity, storage, etc.)

"Every minute, nearly 20 people are displaced as a result of conflict or persecution. At the end of 2016, the total number of forcibly displaced persons was 65.6 million." UNDP

Abeer Seikaly Refugee homes
Abeer Seikaly

abeer seikaly refugee tents
Abeer seikaly

Abeer seikaly weaving
Abeer seikaly

Abeer seikaly fabric skin
Abeer seikaly

Abeer Seikaly Fabric sequence
Abeer Seikaly

Abeer seikaly Diagram
Abeer seikaly

Design is supposed to give form to a gap in people’s needs. This lightweight, mobile, structural fabric could potentially close the gap between need and desire as people metaphorically weave their lives back together, physically weaving their built environment into a place both new and familiar, transient and rooted, private and connected. In this space, the refugees find a place to pause from their turbulent worlds, a place to weave the tapestry of their new lives. They weave their shelter into home.


How the Global Goals are addressed

Affordable and clean energy

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Reduced inequalities

Peace, justice and strong institutions


About Abeer Seikaly:

Abeer Seikaly is an architect, artist, designer and cultural producer. She received her Bachelor of Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002. Over the span of 10 years, she has built a foundation of interdisciplinary skills that span architecture, design, art, fashion, textile design, and curation. She joined Villa Moda, a lifestyle and luxury retail concept in Kuwait and the Gulf as a senior architect and project manager in 2005 and directed the first contemporary art fair in Jordan in 2010. In addition to her independent practice, Abeer is also the production manager of Adel Abidin, the internationally recognized Iraqi/Finnish video artist. In 2012, Abeer’s design, “The Chandelier,” was selected as the winner of The Rug Company’s Wallhanging Design Competition and she was selected as a winner for the Lexus Design Award for her work, “Weaving a Home”.

Abeer's work is rooted in the process of memory - journaling, documenting, archiving, and collecting - to create objects, spaces, and experiences that exist in the realm of her narratives.

Official Text from: Abeer Seikaly

Official Website:


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