Up-and-Coming Designers: Vaishnavi Shiroorkar

Up-and-Coming Designers: Vaishnavi Shiroorkar

Vaishnavi Shiroorkar won a 2023 DNA Paris Design Award in Architecture and Product Design for Carapace—an innovative post-disaster housing project.

Carapace in situ

A graduate of Pearl Academy in Mumbai, Shiroorkar developed the idea for Carapace after studying how natural disasters like cyclones and floods affect the K west ward area of coastal Mumbai. She found that post-disaster structures needed to be durable, livable, modifiable, comfortable—and easy to build.

Carapace installation

Light, ventilation, and color were also important to address all the needs of disaster victims. Shiroorkar’s Carapace proposal states, “The damage isn’t only physical but also psychological … Housing provision plays a crucial role in their recovery process since it allows conditions for people to recover and progressively return to normal life.”

Carapace framework

Inspired by a pop-up container, Shiroorkar developed a telescoping framework for Carapace. This allows Carapace to expand—which also means the structure can shrink. Of course, the condensed unit is easier to store. The material in between the hard sections of Carapace lets in light.

Carapace materials

Shiroorkar seemingly thought of everything, including color. The colors of Carapace respond to disaster victims’ psychological and cultural preferences.

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