Saturday, 26 January 2008

New Tent Ideas

It has been awhile since I wrote an entry to my blog and I would like to switch gears this time and talk about tents.

Tents have been with us since pre-historic times and now they are extremely popular for special events all over the world as most readers will know. There are two unique and exciting new technologies I came across while doing research for my recently published book. The first of these is a technology that utilizes the free-form design of the Bedouin tent from the middle east. It has been created by F3 Freeform Bedouin Tents, a division of Unit Solutions International in South Africa ( It permits tents to be completely flexible in their setup. Larger tents (with canopies up to 10,000 square meters or over 100,000 square feet) can be erected with sides up or down or a combination thereof. Poles can be moved around to accommodate numbers of guests and to create different shapes. Canopies can be wrapped around trees, rocks and walls - and erected with or without poles. There is almost no space that an F3 tent won't transform into a viable entertainment zone. These tents have already been successfully used for special events in South Africa, as can be seen by the photo below.

The second technology is more an application of culture to tent structures. Russian architect Anwar Khairoullin ( has exhibited colorfully painted tensile fabrics as building covers and as individual tents. His unique high-peaked and strikingly colored designs are reminiscent of classic Russian church roof architecture. They are distinctly eastern, Cossack-like in concept, yet warm and welcoming at the same time (see below). As well, Khairoullin has designed specifically-shaped tents for mass manufacture but with proprietary cultural designs appliqu├ęd to the walls and roofs of individual tents, thereby enabling very different and eye-catching structures (Also see below). These types of design concepts may soon become apparent to western tent manufacturers and desired by the special event industry.

These examples give us some idea of the many new developments taking place all over the world in special events. Let us not forget that not all innovation starts and ends with North America.