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Global Village Shelters installation on Sterling Divinity Quadrangle

Sterling Divinity Quadrangle will be the site of an installation of six Global Village Shelters from January 23 through the end of February. Inexpensively manufactured GVS shelters are used as transitional homes and health clinics in Pakistan, Grenada, and Afghanistan. The installation at YDS is intended to raise social consciousness and provide practical knowledge to graduates who might eventually work with the world's poorest communities.

The installation will put the Quad in company with a number of distinguished venues where the shelters have already been displayed, including the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Aspen Ideas Festival, Fortune's Brainstorm Conference, Washington D.C.'s National Building Museum, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Global Village Shelters are a part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.

Some of the shelters were installed in December on a short-term basis, in connection with the YDS Advent service. Beginning at noon on Jan. 23, work will begin on assembling six units for the six-week exhibition. Heading up the effort are Judith Dupre '08 M.A.R. and Emily Scott '06 M.Div.

Global Village Shelters (GVS) were designed by Dan Ferrara and Mia Ferrara Pelosi, a father-daughter architectural team based in Morris, CT, who donated the shelters for this installation. Their simple, innovative design allows unskilled help to assemble the units using common tools in under a half hour. Manufactured by Weyerhaeuser, the paper company, the houses are made of laminated corrugated cardboard that is waterproof, fire resistant, biodegradable, and can withstand most climates for at least 18 months. As architectural types they are unique, having greater stability and offering more privacy than tents, but costing a fraction of other temporary shelters now on the market.

As stark and simple as these homes might appear, they would be considered a profound luxury in most refugee camps. Typically, refugees live in open fields without sewage facilities. For the lucky ones, home is a ragged plastic tarp that provides little defense against rain or running waste.

At the exhibition's conclusion, the shelters will be available to anyone having use for them and the willingness to take them away.

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