Can one ever really get used to experiencing earthquakes? We can prepare for them, we can practice our preparedness plans and we can even manage to stay outwardly calm while one is happening, but it is never easy to shut off the fear reflex. The Emergency Door concept from designer Sung Young Um might help to calm the nerves a bit by providing a simple and always-present emergency shelter.

Under normal circumstances, the Emergency Door is a regular emergency exit door. But at the first rumblings of an earthquake it can be transformed into a triangular hiding place that will shield one person from falling debris.

A release in the middle part of the door allows the transformation from exit door to emergency shelter. Unfortunately the shelter is only big enough for one person, which in an emergency situation is likely to cause panic and fights.

It seems like the designer had great intentions when putting this idea together, but it needs further refinement before it can become a real emergency solution. The door/shelter needs to secure to the floor in some way to prevent it from collapsing when heavy objects fall on top, and it should leave the doorway clear so that it can still be used as an exit – otherwise it is actually creating a hazard rather than preventing one.