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spr ing
Made in
Santa Barbara
Life Cube
n October 2006, a 7.6-magnitude
earthquake shook a remote section of
Pakistan. Santa Barbara-born housing
contractor Michael Conner watched as
a TV journalist in a helicopter surveyed
the scene below. “The broadcaster,” recalls Conner
during a lengthy conversation that took place in a
small park in Montecito, “basically said, ’most of
those people are going to die tonight from exposure
and there’s nothing we can do about it.’ That really
kind of hit me. I started thinking there’s got to be a
better plan, and I began working on the cube.”
The “cube” he began working on is called Life
makeshift shelter (there’s a larger 18’x18’x18’ “small hospital triage unit”
too) complete with power, communications capabilities, flooring, windows,
screens, doors, table, “chairs,” and foodstuff for five days’ survival. Its
intended means of delivery is via a C-141 (“the standard bird that’s flying
around in this kind of situation,” Conner notes). Fourteen Life Cubes can
fit snugly onto the aircraft’s 131-inch pallets and are meant to be unloaded
report by Jenn Kennedy & James Buckley
Cube, and it is an ingenious bit of engineering: a rugged, portable, quick-
and-easy-to-construct air-beam shelter that can bring succor and survival
to many caught in a sudden emergency. “This is the answer to quick, safe
disaster relief,” Conner believes.
Life Cube comes in a compact 52”x52”x52” 650-pound package
constructed to open up in less than 15 minutes into a 12’x12’x12’
Life Cube comes in a compact 650-pound package built to be dropped out of the sky and parachuted to emergency relief zones where it can be rolled via attached steel hoops to
where the immediate need is. Developer-inventor Michael Conner says the entire 12’x12’x12’ tent (with flooring) can be inflated and up and running within fifteen minutes.