Is this parasitic apartment scheme the home of the future?

4 years ago
3 minutes

With affordable living space becoming an increasingly hard-to-find commodity in today’s modern cities, there’s a need for some ingenious design thinking to combat the problem. 

Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects in England have obtained planning permission for a development of micro-homes made from shipping containers, while Kanye West has even weighed in with his dome-shaped ‘Yeezy Homes’.

But perhaps the most futuristic of all these solutions we’ve seen so far has been presented by IAAC graduates with their Flux Haus concept.


The idea would see single-person pods engulf five towers in Hong Kong. The impressive grid structure would allow these single-occupier pods to move, and provide better living conditions than cage homes. These are tiny dwellings enclosed by gridded metal walls and large enough for only one bunk bed. For some people in Hong Kong, this has become the only living option due to the rising price of property.

Like other parasitic dwellings, these new homes are built onto existing structures that would contain support facilities. In this case, it’s a housing complex in the Sham Shui Po district.

In the graduates’ vision, each of these pods would be powered by AI and incorporate swarm robotics that promptly adapt and create furniture to the user’s needs.


“This combination of intelligent machines and humans is an adaptive and evolutionary way of living,” says Jitendra Farkade, one of the graduates.

“As people change, so do their houses. The house understands the inhabitant and provides for their needs. So you won't own a specific pod. You can board any pod and that pod will adapt according to your needs.”

Each six-square-metre home would be suspended from the grid that would engulf the five towers in the Green Harbour Tower complex. This structure is envisaged as a mesh of rails constructed by robots that the team imagine will autonomously expand over time.


Dwellers would access the structure from the existing entrances, but would then be transported to an available docking station in their pod.

Each one has the same basic layout, but AI and swarm robot technology would create a home that adapts to the needs of the occupier. This technology is based around a large number of simple physical robots carrying out a desired collective behaviour — similar to how Iron Man’s suit repairs itself in the recent Avengers movies.

The graduates imagine that these swarm robots will work together to construct the desired room layout and furniture instantly, enabling the cubes to be transformed from a living or dining room to a bedroom when the user wants.


“With an advanced system of swarm robots all the furniture of the pod is constructed and deconstructed almost instantaneously,” Mr Farkade continued.

“This allows users to transform the pod from a bedroom to a living room or whatever by customising to their preferences based on digital assets that they buy.” 

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(Credit source: Dezeen)
(Credit images: IAAC - Flux Haus)