The Concept

Uniti are lightweight pods that could be transported easily to a specific location after a natural disaster or during a refugee crisis. They would be designed to create a small village with micro-financed shops, a town square and offer services like health clinics and classrooms.

Origin of the idea.

In March, I was invited to The World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship in New York. During the exchange I was inspired by architects from Gensler and UN consultants who mused about how to improve refugee camps.

How It Works

Uniti are small to medium-sized units that would cost less than 1 000$ to deploy. They would be made from recycled and renewable materials and could be the interlocked to create small and functional villages. Pods could be transported by airship such as the Aerostratos.

Super lightweight materials used to make each Uniti pods will save fuel and transportation costs and once deployed, they could be easily moved by hand. Stabilization of the structure will be achieved by funnelling sand or water into the base of the unit. Each pod could be designed for a purpose. Some units could expand sideways to create additional rooms that are approximately 3m x 3m in size, allowing for larger families to reside together.

Some of the pods could serve as workshops, dispensaries, classrooms and small business. These units would be shipped with basic furniture and equipment. Investors from around the world (or benefactors) could support entrepreneurs, living inside the refugee camp, by micro-financing tools and supplies so that commerce could get going while refugees are waiting for a long-term solution. Centralized town square could be planned by the community to create a market, and foster communication and interaction between families.

Market Potential

The Uniti concept could also be developed for other types of communities. For instance, to explore a new region, set up a scientific camp, or even build a [short-term] village. Modules could be stacked on top of each other or built on site using large scale 3D printers.


The Uniti concept was imagined in April 2019 and designed by Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bangalore, India. Ashish graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. Ashish currently works as a freelance vehicle designer in Mumbai, India. He also created the images of the Terzi tower and many other concepts for imaginactive.