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Winchester School of Art

Hexayurt alert

Published: 11 November 2011

What is silver, has six sides and can be seen in Winchester?

Design students have been captivated by the arrival of the Hexayurt - innovative temporary buildings that could shelter people made homeless after disasters. One has been put up in the grounds of WSA.

The Hexayurt is the invention of Vinay Gupta who has made the plans free to all through his website. He is working with a wide range of organisations including the US Defense Department. The strength of triangles is used to create surprisingly strong structures built out of common and inexpensive materials such as plywood and insulation boards, further developing the ideas of Buckminster Fuller. A Hexayurt can be built for $100.

MA Fine Art Programme Leader Nick Stewart invited Vinay to talk to students, explain the concepts and build a Hexayurt at Winchester.

“Art shouldn’t be separated from life,” says Nick. “This is potentially an interdisciplinary project which could involve engineers as well as designers. Our students have been making smaller models on this principle.”

Hexayurts can provide stable housing for people left homeless after disasters as they can be assembled quickly out of inexpensive materials. They are also used as accommodation for thousands of people during the annual Burning Man festival in the Black Rock desert in northern Nevada.

Find out more about hexayurts

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