Jacket designed to transform into tent for refugees to be exhibited at Dubai Design Week

A jacket which transforms into a tent big enough to sleep in has been created by designers Gabriella Geagea from Lebanon and Anne Sophie Geay from France, both graduates of London’s Royal College of Art.

The prototype will be exhibited as part of the Global Grad Show which will take place during Dubai Design Week in October. The Global Grad Show is the largest exhibition of student work from universities across the world, this year including seven schools from the MENA region showcasing innovative works that could shape the future.

The project is aimed at giving refugees find shelter from the elements and the pair hope to distribute it to migrants arriving on the southern shores of Europe.

Geagea, born and raised in Beirut, grew up with a personal insight into the refugee crisis. She said: “In Lebanon, I have been exposed to this situation for a long time. Refugees live in the streets.

“They are everywhere in the country. You see them in the city centre—it’s constantly in front of you. I have a lot of Syrian friends and know people who have family there, so this project was addressing an issue close to my heart. We wanted to make the most human garment as possible and help the refugee cause as much as possible.”

After months of trials and with the help and advice of tutor Harriet Harriss and students from the textile department, Geay and Geagea came up with a waterproof, easily foldable garment.

“We’re not used to working with fabric, so we got help from students of the textile department. Then we went more into details as we started working with professionals,” Geagea explained.

The student showcase was launched last year during Dubai’s first design week event, with this year including a number of schools from the Middle East and North Africa.