• Is the shelter design patented?


  • What do you call it / the product?

    Like our organization’s name, the shelter is also called Cardborigami, and it is a trademarked name.

  • What are the general dimensions?

    When open: 6’ deep (long) x 4’ wide x 3,5’ tall

    When closed: 10” to 1’ deep x 3’ wide x 3.5’ tall

  • Where are they made?

    The Shelters are all made locally in LA

  • Is the cardboard custom-made for the product?

    Yes. We work with a local cardboard manufacturer to cut our pieces specific to the design

  • What makes it different / better than a tent?

    Multiple reasons:

    1. It requires no onsite assembly; just simply open it when needed and close when not

    2. Cardboard is naturally insulative. Camping tent material lets heat pass in and out easily

    3. The folds and cardboard material give it high structural integrity that a tent does not have

    4. It stands up to wind much better than a tent, also due to its structural design

    5. Outside sound is significantly dampened when inside, so the person inside is less

    disturbed by ambient noise. This is very important for promoting a sense of privacy.

    6. It is an aesthetically attractive, award-winning design product that we hope anyone will feel

    a sense of pride and dignity about when they are using it

    7. It is made of minimum 50% recycled content, and is recyclable

  • How does the shelter perform when it rains?

    Our current version uses a non-toxic, food-safe treatment applied to the cardboard which makes it water-resistant to light rain, about the amount that we typically get in Southern California’s dry climate. We are actively researching materials and fundraising for a waterproof version which will still stay true to our design balance function and environmental sustainability.

  • How can I purchase?

    The bulk of our shelters is intended for our program applications (described above) and associated partners. Please follow up with us via direct email regarding your request and explain your intentions for purchase (program partnering vs personal use are separate and distinct considerations): info@cardborigami.org


  • When was the organization founded?

    We started in late 2010 and received our 501(c)(3) status in July 2011

  • Who founded it? And why?

    Tina Hovsepian, our founder, came up with the initial prototype during her final year as an undergraduate in USC’s Architecture School, in response to a class assignment to rethink the idea of ‘temporary shelter’ based off of an Airstream trailer. As a lifelong Angeleno, she was inspired to create the design by her desire to provide efficient and useful emergency shelter for the homeless in LA.