Overcrowded living space is a contributing factor to the social and economic problems in impoverished areas such as Jabal Al-Natheef refugee camp in Jordan. Addressing such a convoluted problem requires long-term planning and availability of resources. However, initiation of small projects to target pain points, employing technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) to design solutions, and empowering the people to implement them could alleviate the impact of poverty. Giving the stakeholders the ability to build and reproduce the designed solutions will help communities grow by allowing individuals to provide for themselves. This will also create jobs and sets the stage for sustainable development. This project is based on a field study initiated by Purdue University Global Engineering Program in collaboration with the School of Technology. This project illustrates the need and capability of multifunctional furniture design features in order to maximize space usage and improve the livelihood conditions of people living in underprivileged communities. The author designed a furniture piece which serves as a tabular unit, storage and seating units, as well as sleeping units based on the need and xiii time of day. The design criteria should achieve easy-to-implement and aesthetically pleasing modular pieces of furniture. To facilitate a manufacturing process led by the locals, furniture design specifications, prototype diagrams, and clear graphics were produced. Options for raw material were described based on market availability and source of imported wood. Moreover, a potential forestation program that takes advantage of the fast growing poplar trees was examined to create a local timber industry in the long-term. The designs addressed common requirements of many families who had been interviewed in Jabal Al-Natheef. Floor plans of six of these families’ homes were presented with 3-D rendering perspectives using AutoCAD, Google Sketchup, and Revit modeling software. This thesis addressed one specific problem in the overcrowded and poorly facilitated environment of Jabal Al-Natheef; however, there were many other challenges that required urgent attention. Hence, there was room for many more similar efforts as per the recommendations for further studies and future research projects.


Multifunctional Furniture, Underprivileged Communities, Interior Design, Building Informational Modeling

Date of this Version



Computer Graphics Technology

Department Head

Marvin Sarapin

Month of Graduation



Master of Science

Head of Graduate Program

Craig Miller

Advisor 1 or Chair of Committee

Patrick Connolly

Committee Member 1

Patrick Connolly

Committee Member 2

Clark Cory

Committee Member 3

Eva Haviarova