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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

2002

  • Work on this object began.

2013

  • Work on this object ended.

2016

2019

  • You found it!

Floating Community Lifeboats, 2002–2013

This is a Project. It was designed by Mohammed Rezwan and Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha. It is dated 2002–2013. Its medium is community lifeboats: sal and other woods, bamboo, angle iron, iron sheet, flat bar; suyrahurricane solar lamps: 4 ah 6 v sealed lead-acid batteries, 5 w high-efficiency compact fluorescent lamp, switch, recharging socket, charge controller, inverter circ.

One-third of Bangladesh floods annually, prohibiting children from attending school and potentially displacing families. Architect Mohammed Rezwan witnessed growing up in the country’s northern Natore region, so he founded Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha in 1998 and designed the first floating school, working with area boat builders to modify traditional flat-bottom riverboats. Sitting low in water, they incorporate a metal truss to allow for column-free open spaces, and waterproof roofs are outfitted with solar photovoltaic panels. The boats charge electronic equipment, and SuryaHurricane lanterns—low-cost, portable solar-powered lamps made from recycled kerosene lanterns. Shidhulai currently operates fifty-four floating schools, libraries, health clinics, and a training center for parents, serving close to 90,000 families.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/420778921/ |title=Floating Community Lifeboats, 2002–2013 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=17 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>