Nov 18, 2017 | By Julia

A New York design agency is looking to tackle the city’s homelessness crisis one 3D printed module at a time. “Homed” is the bold new initiative from Framlab, the creative agency headed by Norwegian architect Andreas Tjedflaat. Conceived as a series of 3D printed micro-neighbourhoods, the Homed project features an array of dense vertical units designed to attach to pre-existing buildings via a scaffold structure, thereby creating a second, active layer of living modules alongside an unused wall. Somewhat reminiscent of an organic honeycomb arrangement, the Homed project is an active exploration of how well designed, technologically advanced urban space can be transformed to serve those most in need.

“Homelessness in New York City has reached the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The city's shelter system is at capacity and struggles to offer spaces of safety, cleanliness, and comfort for the city's least fortunate,” explain Framlab representatives on the project website, noting that an estimated 61,000 people are sleeping in New York’s homeless shelters every night, with thousands more sleeping on the streets and other public spaces. As an incredibly complex issue, Framlab acknowledges that temporary housing can be increasingly helpful in bolstering the city’s shelter system, and provide a viable alternative for those faced with eviction.

That’s precisely where Homed comes in. “Although almost every square foot of space in NYC has been claimed and utilized, there still manages to exist an abundant amount of ‘vertical lots’ sitting idle,” say Framlab reps. In other words, blank sidewalls of buildings constantly emerge and disappear, unused, as new developments come and go. Together, “they make up hundreds of acres of available ‘land.’”

Thus, Homed is Framlab’s proposal to capitalize on this underutilized vertical land. Using the “flexible framework” that already exists in plenitude in New York – scaffolding – the Homed project envisions hexagonal housing modules designed to connect to the scaffolding structures, pack in densely, and effectively create suspended micro-neighbourhoods of living shelters for the city’s homeless population.

The specs are impressive: an oxidized aluminum cladding exterior means that the year-round 3D printed housing modules can withstand harsh winters and provide a cool space during summer. Thanks to pre-fabrication technologies, a micro-neighbourhood of Homed units can be assembled and installed in a matter of days, with up to 95 units packing into a typical 50 x 70 foot wall. Module interiors are 3D printed from recyclable bioplastics, enabling both a sustainable and cost-effective assembly. By day, the intricate modules form an urban mosaic of sorts, while at night the housing cluster can showcase digital artwork, public information, or commercial advertising.

To get the full scoop on Homed, check out Framed’s detailed proposal here.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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