Inflatable Shelters for the Homeless Uses HVAC Vents for Heat

Michael Rakowitz is an artist in New York City. For years, he's worked on projects to help the homeless of that city. Many of this creations are variations of a design concept that he calls ParaSITE. His ParaSITE shelters are custom-built assemblies of plastic bags and tarps that feed off of excess heat provided by building heating systems. Rakowitz's shelters channel that heat into inflating and warming their owners.

Rakowitz designs the shelters to fit the needs of the individual owners. The one at the top was designed to get around anti-camping laws in New York City. The one in the middle has windows so that the resident can see any approaching threats. The one on the bottom is designed to resemble Jabba the Hutt.

-via Inhabitat


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Don't those pipes exhaust dangerous fumes or vapors that contain carbon monoxide, among other things? If not, then why aren't furnaces just vented to the inside of their own dwelling? Why would a system be designed to channel excess heat away from the very environment it's supposed to be heating in the first place?
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