Inspired by his country's long tradition of cutting edge fashions, and an even longer trend of natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, a Japanese architect has come up with the idea of combining fashion with an emergency tent.

Dubbed IZAT (Immediate Zip Aid Tarp), fashion that doubles as housing,  the idea comes from the traditional blue 1.8m x 1.8m plastic tarpaulins that are often used in Japanese natural disaster emergency work.

The IZAT can be worn as clothing, or wrapped around wounded people. It has zippers on several parts for "building" different forms, and they can be combined to build even larger structures.

By Michael Fitzpatrick.