Towering skyscrapers have long been one way architects have proposed cities create more housing where limited space exists. Architect Haseef Rafiei has designed something even more forward-thinking than simply building up: The Pod Vending Machine, a skyscraper that 3-D prints modular homes onsite and on demand.
The house-dispensing tower would allow buyers to customize their “pods,” and a “3-D pod printer” on top of the tower would assemble each one. Buyers can choose from different sub-pods that create different amenities, and any unused pods will be disassembled and/or stored for re-use, creating a “metabolic cycle” in the tower and reducing waste usually associated with construction. And as demand for units grows, so would the skyscraper, which would build itself taller over time. Rafiei envisions the tower in Tokyo, where vending machines are already a way of life.