The growing need to build affordable housing in big, dense cities while keeping expenses to a minimum led to Malaysian designer Haseef Rafiei’s idea for a futuristic “skyscraper” housing pod vending machine. A Dezeen video shows how the designer–he won an honorable mention in this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition–inspired by the fascination with vending machines and robotics in Japan, sketched up the skyscraper idea for offering prospective homeowners a way to customize–and then create–a modular home. The home would then be slotted into place within a high-rise framework. According to the designer, the Pod Vending Machine is based on a “3D-printed building that grows in parallel with the city’s housing demand.”
Rafiei was inspired by “a commonly used machine that dispenses nearly all of life’s necessities for the people of Tokyo,” to imagine this amazing modifiable structure that aims to “house a large number of pods equipped with basic amenities for residential and commercial use.” How would it work? Ready-to-use housing pods would be chosen by customers based on their individual needs. A “pod printer” installed on top of the building would then manufacture the home. The 3D-printed pod would be plugged in to a space in the surrounding structure below by attached crane arms. As the main structure becomes filled with homes, the skyscraper would grow taller to make room for the them with materials that would be delivered by hydraulics attached to the sides of the building.
The concept is designed to adapt over time to changing needs of its inhabitants rather than staying static–modules stored in the building could be moved, modified and regrouped, assuring that space is used efficiently rather than wastefully. Rafiei imagines amenity pods as well, to be added to buildings for use by residents.
The printed pods could be used for residential or commercial use; Rafiei believes that robotic concepts like the Pod Vending Machine will offer a necessary solution to an increasing demand for urban housing, while cutting down on construction labor, cost and time via automation. Rafiei sees its as “an affordable mass produced home dispenser.”
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All images in the video and story are courtesy of Haseef Rafiei.