The outposts of the wars that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been named many things and have been built in many places. But despite America’s longest-running conflicts in two different countries, the fortifications have, for the most part, retained a brutal similarity right down to the kid in the second platoon who has never learned, and probably never will learn, to take a shower.

However, a class at Iowa State University hopes to change that. “In Harm’s Way: Interior Design for Modern Combat” was recently created by Lee Cagley, a professor and chair of Iowa State’s interior design program. The graduate-level course involved six students imagining and designing a “combat outpost” that could house about a company’s worth of soldiers (120+) set in Afghanistan in 2022. The class’s work was recently featured in Interior Design magazine’s March issue.

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