Pod Vending Machine concept by Haseef Rafiei tackles housing demand by printing modular homes

A skyscraper 3D prints modular homes and dispenses them like a vending machine in the latest instalment of our Dezeen x MINI Living Initiative video series.

The Pod Vending Machine won Malaysian designer Haseef Rafiei an honourable mention in this year’s eVolo Skyscraper Competition, which recognises innovative ideas for futuristic high-rise living.

Inspired by the popularity of vending machines in Japan, the skyscraper offers prospective homeowners the facility to customise and manufacture a modular home, which is then slotted into a high-rise framework.

Customers would be able to choose from an array of ready-to-use housing pods to design their home, based on their needs.

The home would then be manufactured on-site by a pod printer installed above the the building. Once printed, the pods are plugged into spaces in the structure below by crane arms attached to the skyscraper.

Rafiei claims that the Pod Vending Machine offers a solution to increasing need for housing in cities by growing in response to demand.

As the megastructure is filled with homes, the skyscraper would grow taller to accommodate more, adding to itself using materials delivered by hydraulics on the sides of the building.

The futuristic building concept has been designed to adapt to the needs of its inhabitants over time, rather than remaining a static structure. Modules stored within the building could be moved, regrouped, modified and recycled, preventing waste and ensuring that space is used efficiently.

The structure could be used for both residential and business use, housing start-ups and commercial spaces as well as homes.

Rafiei believes that robotic concepts like his skyscraper will become necessary to address the growing demands of the urban housing market, while easing pressure on labour, cost and time associated with construction through automation.

This movie is part of Dezeen x MINI Living Initiative, a year-long collaboration with MINI exploring how architecture and design can contribute to a brighter urban future through a series of videos and talks.

All images in the video and story are courtesy of Haseef Rafiei.