Cura Pods is a global open-source initiative aimed to convert shipping containers into plug-in Intensive-Care Pods for COVID-19 patients.
CURA (acronym for “Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments” and also “Cure” in Latin) proposes a quick-to-deploy solution to expand emergency facilities and ease the pressure on healthcare systems treating patients infected by coronavirus. CURA strives to be as fast to be mounted as a hospital tent, but as safe as a regular isolation ward to work in, thanks to the comprehensive biocontainment equipment. The first CURA pod has been installed on April 19th, 2020 at a new temporary hospital set up in Turin, northern Italy, one of the world’s hardest-hit regions by the pandemic.
How did the collaboration come about?
Cura Pods was conceived and initiated by Carlo Ratti Associati, who worked on the original idea and design. Their team helped to bring together the collaborators and then, as a task-force, we each contributed our specific skill set to help launch this project.
CURA has been developed as an open-source project, with its tech specs, drawings and design materials made accessible for everyone online on https://curapods.org/open-source-files. Such collective endeavor has also created an opportunity for testing new methods for international design collaboration. Since the project’s launch, in late March, more than two thousand people have shown an interest and contacted the CURA team to join the project, reproduce it, or provide technical advises. While the first prototype becomes operative in Italy, more units are currently under construction in other parts of the world, from UAE to Canada.
What were the most relevant factors that contributed to the success of the project?
Response to need
Response to COVID-19
Combination of skill sets
Commitment of participants
Delivery of project
The first unit was built and installed at a temporary hospital in Turin, Italy, with the sponsorship of UniCredit. Other collaborators offered their skills free of charge.
Will the project continue beyond COVID-19 lockdown?
The project is open-source, as such the design could be adapted beyond its original purpose to support hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image credits – Max Tomasinelli