About 860,000 homeless people live in Germany, where the winters are savage. To help them, a German team of designers and developers known as Ulmer Nest have devised sleeping pods that are both wind and waterproof. These pods will be installed in the German city of Ulm to house the homeless at night. And now, designers around the world are taking notice.

The sleeping pods are deemed Ulmer Nest and supply a safe, warm place to slumber in cold weather. The interdisciplinary design team—consisting of designers Patrick Kaczmarek, Florian Geiselhart, Falko Pross, Manuel Schall, Dirk Bayer, and Kathrin Uhlig–researched their audience, finding that some homeless people avoid shelters out of fear that they will be separated from their pets or subjected to crime and violence. They kept these factors in mind as they conceived the first two Ulmer Nest prototypes.

These capsules are handcrafted from timber and steel–resilient materials that shield against harsh weather. Ulmer Nest pods are befitted with solar panels and sensors that sense temperature, humidity, smoke, and carbon dioxide levels. Each pod also comes complete with a heat exchanger to provide fresh air and circulation. Motion sensors also supplant the requirement for cameras while shielding privacy while at the same time ensuring that social workers can be contacted if needed because overnight stays are not permitted. Two individuals can slumber in the pod simultaneously and seek cover from rain, frost, and humidity. It also adjoins a radio network so the individual using the pod can contact the team managing it if required. Ulmer volunteers clean the pod daily to ensure hygiene is maintained—this is why powder-coated metal was utilised in the design to allow for easy cleaning. These safe pods are fireproof, and feature an electronic verification system that empowers the occupant to lock it from the interior.

Ulm debuted its premiere sleeping pods in winter of 2020, and have since been upgraded to change with the times. The pods themselves are evolutionary.

Source: Yanko Design