About Smart Shelter Consultancy

‘If each person solves the small problems over which they have control, then the larger problems will disappear’. (Confucius 551-478 BC)

What We Do

Smart Shelter Consultancy bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical experience. Participants will discover first-hand the consequences of their ideas and decisions. Our motto is: Think Simple, Build Smart!

Our workshops and design studios are a challenging mix of design, research, lectures, teamwork, and hands-on experiments. They are custom-made and multi-disciplinary, and serve students and professionals  of Architecture, Civil Engineering, Visual Arts, Interior Architecture, Mechanical Engineering and Product Design.

The focus is on alternative techniques, re-use of materials, and cultural and socio-economic differences for any given context; we promote unconventional concepts of design for the developing world to post-disaster reconstruction, and from traditional building to modern architecture.

We also conduct web lectures via Skype for both large and small groups. Easy to plan, no travel expenses and a great way to discuss and interact.

And we perform as keynote speaker and workshop leader at seminars, conferences and thematic events, ranging from an hour to several days.

The Smart Shelter philosophy is unique and can be experienced from just one day, up to a full-semester length.


Our Clients

Portugal. Seminar SMARTnet, Dept. of Civil Engineering at Universidade do Minho in Guimarães, September 2020.
Bulgaria. Workshop ‘Build Solid Ground’, National Earthquake Engineering Center in Sofia, May 2019.
Portugal. Seminar SMARTnet, Universidade de Lisboa, May 2019.
Italy. Series of lectures at the Department of Engineering, Bologna University, March April 2019.
Ireland. Workshop ‘Resilient Design for the Developing Context’, organised by Engineers Without Borders Ireland, Feb 2019.
Tokyo. Presentations at International Association of Earthquake Engineering, Dec 2018.
Japan.  Nagoya University, 2018-ongoing.
Ireland.  Seismic Summit in Dublin, March 2018.
Kyoto.  Speaker at conference ‘Shape Design and Optimisation for Seismic and Architectural Design, Kyoto University, November 2017
Spain. University of Alcalá, March 2017.
Japan. Nagoya City University, March 2017.
Turkey. Yasar University in Izmir, November 2016.
Japan. Kyoto University, 2016-ongoing.
Japan. Nogizaka House in Tokyo, 2016-ongoing.
Germany. Red Cross Germany in Berlin, May 2016.
Ireland. Engineers Without Borders Conference in Dublin, February 2016.
Italy. Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia, February 2016.
Italy. University of Bologna, February 2016.
Ireland. Dublin Institute of Technology, 2016-ongoing.
Japan. Tohoku Gakuin University in Sendai, 2015-ongoing.
Greece. ECOWEEK event in Thessaloniki, November 2015.
Vietnam. Hanoi Architectural University,2013-2015.
Italy. University of Bergamo, July 2015.
Hungary. Széchenyi István University in Gyor, September 2015.
The USA. Auburn University, University of San Francisco, U at Buffalo NY, 2014-ongoing.
Canada. The University of Manitoba, ongoing.
The Netherlands. The Technical University of Eindhoven and HKU Utrecht, 2014.
Thailand.  Chiang Mai University, 2014.
Macau. Saint Joseph University, October 2013 & December 2013.
Indonesia. ITS Surabaya in 2009, and UII in Yogyakarta, 2013.
Ireland. University of Limerick, 2012 – ongoing research projects.
South Korea. Chosun University, 2012- 2013. Teaching position.
Thailand.  Rangsit University and Thammasat University in Bangkok, 2012.
Singapore. Ngee Ann Polytechnic, 2012.
India.   Department of Design of IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur, 2012.
Ireland. University of Limerick, 2010 – 2012. Teaching position.
Spain. The University of Catalunya in Barcelona, 2010.
Turkey. Uludağ Üniversitesi in Bursa, 2010.
Indonesia. Consultancy work after the earthquake, Sumatra, 2009.


Who We Are

Smart Shelter Concepts.
In 2005 the Smart Shelter Concept was started. It now consists of three divisions that focus on finding durable and alternative construction solutions for the developing and post-disaster context, as well as for modern architectural applications.

Smart Shelter Foundation is the NGO and builds for the poor in developing countries.
Smart Shelter Consultancy transfers all the knowledge to students and professionals.
Smart Shelter Research focuses on construction related research projects.


Martijn Schildkamp, founder and executive director.
Martijn is an architect and building engineer from The Netherlands, with a passion for alternative materials and experimental construction.

During his travels through Asia he was shocked by the harsh conditions in which so many people have to live. He started to dedicate his expertise and time to people across the globe, who are in need of better housing and improved living conditions. Since 2005 he founded three Smart Shelter divisions and researched, designed and built numerous projects in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal and Indonesia.

Martijn is specialized in building with alternative materials and methods, and developed a great interest in low-tech earthquake resistant principles. His activities are multi-disciplinary as he works as an architect, engineer, calculator, trainer, supervisor and mason all at the same time. Over the years he gained an enormous amount of grass root experience and practical knowledge, which he now transfers to students and professionals worldwide.

His philosophy and way of working has resulted in being a finalist for the largest design award in the world; Index Award. The theme of the award was ‘Design to Improve Life’. His CV can be downloaded here (80 kb).


Tessa van Weelie, coordinator.
Tessa joined Smart Shelter in 2007 and has been helping with the projects ever since. She supports the overall organization and helps with the projects on-site. She has a strong background in coordinating and planning, and is very good at getting things actually done. A good communicator with endless enthusiasm.



‘Martijn is an excellent practitioner and teacher. His depth of knowledge, his passion, his persistence, and his pragmatism is of high value; and has inspired our students to extend their reach.’
– Merritt Bucholz, Head School of Architecture, University of Limerick –

‘It was a great eye opener working with Martijn… his energy and enthusiasm, both of which are infective… Martijn is extremely dedicated on the path he has chosen.’
– Chitra Vishwanath, Managing Director at BIOME Environmental Solutions, India –

‘Through these subjects I learned a lot of knowledge about how to protect the environment, to take full advantage of objects and instruments to reuse them in other jobs, how to add the traditional materials from ancient history to use for architecture. This will make me have more knowledge for future design of other buildings. Thank you instructor for the past month!
– Phan Ly Hung, student at Hanoi Architectural University, 2015 –

‘I really like this workshop! It is completely different from the things I have done till now. Every minute we have to find a solution in many different things. I’m sick of using computers, so for me that point was perfect! We meet new people, we collaborate with them and the results were pretty cool!’
– Alexandra Sonidou, participant ECOWEEK 2015 –

‘It’s my best workshop ever. In 3 weeks, we learned many things about material, cultural and waste that I never thought before. The best thing I like, it’s the way we was taught to think. It’s so creative, exciting and open. Class is where our ideas was never dismissed. Everything is not a dream, everything is possible. I’m interested in green design, so all I learned, I think I can use it for my future design to make my own special projects.’
– Truong Hoai Anh, student at Hanoi Architectural University, 2015 –

‘It very much inspired me and motivated me in the whole waste-recycling theme, which honestly has a lot to do with the profession of architecture and building and I think it will help me in the future to be much more careful with my decisions. I also strongly believe that I took a lot from you as a person and with all that experience you have from building all over the world and especially in countries out of the western way of thinking. It was very awakening for me, since I would really like to travel in such countries.’
– Joanna Moysidou, participant ECOWEEK 2015 –