Plywood & aluminum pods may house New York's homeless
January 29, 2018 | 10:33 am CST
NEW YORK - Aluminum and plywood-lined modules have been proposed to house New York City's homeless population.
The hexagonal 'parasitic' "Homed" pods, proposed by creative agency Framlab, will attach to the outside of existing buildings. The modules have been designed for simple and inexpensive assembly, says Framlab, and would be slotted into scaffolding structures affixed to windowless facades around the city.
Each module is made of a prefabricated aluminum exterior that's designed to protect inhabitants from harsh weather. The module proposes filling the shell with a 3D-printed wall structure made of recycled plastic and lined with plywood.
The front face of the pod is made up of a smart-glass assembly with a layer of thin film diodes. This allows the face to be clear (aligned particles/light transmitted) and open to the city outside, translucent (particles in random positions/light absorbed), and provide privacy for the resident, or transmit digital content. This can be artwork curated/created by the resident, public information, or commercial content - effectively enabling revenue opportunities.
The module is designed to house one occupant, allowing each resident to customize each pod to their needs.
 "As the world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history, cities are densifying at a tremendous rate," says Framlab on their website. "In metropolises like New York City the land is scarce and the rents are at a record high. As a direct result of these soaring numbers, more and more people are unable to afford a place to live and find themselves homeless. Coalition for the Homeless estimates that over 61,000 people are sleeping in the city's homeless shelters every night, and that thousands more are sleeping on the streets, in the subway system, and in other public spaces."

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at [email protected].