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Peremebli — accessible furniture for temporary housing

Story and photo: Andriy Batin, Yuriy Hranovskyi, Oleksandr Manukians

Illustration: #AnnaIvanenko


When people are forced to flee from war, they will likely find themselves in uncomfortable conditions. Displaced people often must live in schools, old dormitories, or unfurnished mobile homes. However, temporary housing should not demean a person's dignity; on the contrary, displaced persons should be surrounded with greater care—this is what the founders of the Peremebli project think. 

In the past, Andriy and Yura developed the urban project Agents of Change. Their purpose is the formation of the urban environment and communication in it. They believe it should be based on respect for people, inclusiveness, and openness of space. Right before the full-scale war, Andriy and Sasha, the founders of Manukians Studio, were thinking about their line of multifunctional furniture. Therefore, the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine gave the final impetus to work in this direction. The guys started running the Design for a hostile world pages on social media, where they published instructions on assembling comfortable and aesthetic furniture from available materials from bomb shelters, roadblocks or temporary housing. 

When Sasha, who managed to get out of Bucha, had to settle in a new apartment, he decided to use the advice from Design for a hostile world and build a shower and hand-washing device himself. So, the designers were convinced of their idea's viability and began looking for shelter to help with the furniture. At the same time, their acquaintances began to transform an old hotel in the town of Khust in Zakarpattia Oblast into a hostel for internally displaced persons. Andriy, Yura, and Sasha started designing furniture for three common areas in the hostel: a meeting place, a co-working space, and a game room.

Furniture design had to comply with four principles:

  1. Availability: All materials can be purchased at a store or market; no professional tools or special skills are required to assemble them. 

  2. Versatility: each item can be used for several purposes. For example, at Khust Hostel, you can watch a film on stools in the common area in the evening and fold it into a table for work during the day. 

  3. Openness: all instructions and drawings are freely available on the Peremebli website and social networks. 

  4. Involvement: users are actively involved in creating space and objects, rethinking their configuration, and finding new ways for their use.

About 150 displaced people live in Khust Hostel now, and they use designer furniture. However, the founders of Peremebli are not focused exclusively on temporary housing residents: their products will be relevant even after the war, and the table or rack should harmoniously fit into someone’s apartment.

You can support the designers here.


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