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Space-age tent can stand the heat

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London and Munich-based practice Architecture and Vision has unveiled this prototype for a one-man tent capable of withstanding extreme desert temperatures.

Developed for the European Space Agency Technology Transfer Programme, the project uses several concepts studied in space exploration.

The inflatable structure is cooled by an electric fan at the top of the tent that is powered by a flexible solar panel.

Made from high-strength silver-coated polyethylene textile, the shape of the tent, according to the designers, takes its inspiration from the camel.

The animal - like the tent - relies on keeping itself as far from the baking earth's surface as possible.

Describing the scheme, architect Andreas Vogler, a partner at Architecture and Vision, said: 'Planning habitats for space makes architects realise the future potentials of buildings on earth.

'Desert Seal is based on a research-driven design methodology that is investigating available in-situ resources and optimising a design for low-weight and active low-energy environmental control.

'But design, and even more so design in extreme environments, also has to touch the human emotions.'

The tent will be on display at the SAFE: Design Takes On Risk exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York from 16 October.

by Richard Waite

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