The paraSITE collects excess HVAC air to provide a heated shelter from dangerous cold weather.

With bitterly cold weather still gripping much of the U.S., many people are trying to spend as little time outdoors as possible. For the homeless, this is nearly impossible.

Harsh winters pose serious risks, including death, to many of the nation’s homeless, but many avoid shelter systems out of fear of violence and disease. Artist Michael Rakowitz’s low-cost, inflatable shelters provide an ingenious and temporary solution.

The paraSITE is designed to harness the excess heat from HVAC systems of urban buildings, recycling the air as usable warmth. The non-invasive structures are composed of garbage bags and clear plastic Ziploc bags sealed with tape or a heat sealer, costing less than $5 each.

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