I would go with a trekking pole design. If the hiker uses poles, they will be much stronger than typical poles. If trekking poles aren't used, they could still be carbon fiber poles. Carbon fiber is strongest when used in this manner. A design that puts stresses along the middle of a pole almost necessitates the use of aluminum poles.
As far as general tent design is concerned, I like the idea of a double walled tent with Cuben on the bottom sides and mesh on top (along with a Cuben rain fly). The Luxe X-Rocket (http://www.luxeoutdoor.com/eng/catalog-topic-gallery-view1.asp?id=821&selfpath=/12/125) has this design, but I think other, similar designs make sense. Two folks made very similar tents without trying to copy the X-Rocket: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/20414/index.html
Scott made a very interesting double walled tent as well: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=8499
The design could easily be tweaked a bit to use trekking poles (have two poles on either side). You can see it wouldn't take much to modify these designs to get various levels of coverage and ventilation (have more mesh on top, make it with a tiny cap of a rain fly, etc.).