Misprinted prefab houses

These weird, blobular forms (orignally featured in the Swiss magazine Hochparterre) are misprinted houses generated by automated prefab concrete machines: "Based on iconic housing shapes, these buildings were intended as prototypes for mass-customization. Yet, as things go with computerized manufacturing, there have been misplots. The cartridge was not loaded properly. The concrete was set to the wrong parameters or scale. The printer module falsely translated a data set... These misprints are the rejects of this early process, and they are now being used as shared homes by elderly people from the former squatter scene."

Concrete Misplots (via BLDGBlog)


    1. I submit respectfully that it’s not CGI. It looks more like a contemporary ceramic art installation. The house I want to live seems to have a glaze (possibly a faint crackle glaze) on the boulders. You have to go to the linked site and find the larger photos to see it. A couple of the others have (precious metal) luster glazes on them in selective places it looks like. I went searching the link for the artists name but beyond the indication it was an ad agency (and they do cool stuff) I couldn’t find anything. Thanks to the host for posting the photo; I am just captivated by them.

    1. I’m partial to the one that looks like the overweight house myself. It’s got fat-rolls on it’s fat-rolls!

  1. Nice, cool, they look great. Would love to live in one :)

    Can’t believe that these are ‘miss-prints’. To me these seem to be so by design.

  2. This has confused me and I’m too confused to know if it’s the good aesthetically pleasing confusion.

  3. They are renderings; we’re missing the first sentence of the article:
    “Featured in swiss architectural magazine Hochparterre’s “Raumtraum” section, these visualizations of future architectures search for the accidental in computer driven manufacturing processes.”

    so, it seems the project is to try and design something on purpose that might someday happen by accident. and then give the accidents to homeless people to live in like bird houses.

  4. guh, EVERYONE knows that auto-fab houses are created along a mesh of curved wires over the ocean. of course it’s real!

  5. These are not real. From the link:

    “Featured in swiss architectural magazine Hochparterre’s “Raumtraum” section, these visualizations of future architectures search for the accidental in computer driven manufacturing processes.”

  6. Yeah, but I don’t understand why on one hand they say they are “visualizations”, but on the other hand say they are being used by elderly former squatters also (or is that a joke?)

  7. They don’t appear to have much room on the inside, being solid and all that. Still, they would make nice living units if real. Goudi-like.

  8. Did somebody mess up the conversion of this into english? It is referring to what are obviously computer renders as if they are real mistakes and actually being used by squatters? Something about this being a nifty thought experiment got lost in translation.

    I love how one has a net inexplicably hanging from its underside. Was this house designed to float a thousand feet above the open ocean? What’s the net for, catching newly birthed houselings?

  9. I don’t know why people keep thinking these aren’t real. I was at an awesome house party in that extra tube-squirty one last weekend. Unfortunately some one died while trying to leap onto the neighbor’s landing.

    So sad.

  10. Concrete houses on wires … over water … i doubt that any country’s building security police would let that happen …

    and I agree, did something get lost in translation? I was hoping by clicking on the link to see the ‘real’ grey turd houses in action … maybe even a google earth link …

  11. …i think ‘knowing’ or ‘partial’ hoax just about covers this. ‘ironic information lacuna’?


    lovely idea though. reminds me very strongly of ‘peripetics’ – oh wait! i just saw the title of the page.. it IS zeitguised



  12. Dear internest,
    I are confused…
    Why unreal are not real?
    Why other people laugh?
    Why no one explain why i are no laugh?
    How houz are formed?
    Foreignerz No pull wool over my eyes with foreign-word-speak-translator.
    I know a things or two.
    I are not borned yesterdaze!

  13. OK, they are obviously fake as has been discussed. I find it pretentious, but it’s not unusual for people making this kind of art to describe it as if it were real.

    What I want to know is, how are these prefab houses actually built, and is this type of “misprint” even possible?

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say no, it isn’t.

  14. I don’t like how the editorial text in this post misrepresents the image.

    It should be clear to anyone that these houses were actually designed as pre-fab stables fit for the european long-horse.

  15. I would take pity on those of you fooled by the misleading text, but I’m pitiless, so… (shrug).

    No, you cannot press a button and have a concrete house come out the end of a big machine.

    You still need to have a guy standing around doing this:

    and then you need some more guys to do this:

    and that’s as prefab as it gets, concrete-wise.

  16. *Please* edit the post to make it clear that these are 3D renderings and not real. For a few minutes I actually thought that I lived in a fantastic world, until I translated the artsy/badly-translated text into realizing that these are imaginary, and the resulting disappointment in the continued mundane nature of my reality is annoying enough for me to make this post.

  17. Yeah, sorry, but that set off my bullshit sense even before I figured out that they were supposed to be suspended over water by those dinky cables. Interesting designs, though.

  18. Interesting Visualization – the heavy concrete suspended by thin cables that dont sag was big WTF clue. I dont know that printing snafus would look like this. More likely the print head crashes into the material or stops moving while still extruding or the product mix was bad (and wouldnt set up well).

    Cement printing is a research topic for Behrokh Khoshnevis of U. SoCal and the USC Center for Rapid Automated Fabrication Technologies (CRAFT) http://craft.usc.edu although I dont find much recent published material on a quick search.

  19. At first I was like, “who mad sculptures of my wrinkled shirt, un-toned stomach, intestines, gall bladder and finally gall stones”, but then I’m like nah, that’s CGI.

  20. penguinchris, as a research assistant who studies solid freeform fabrication(what is called by many as 3d printing), I can say that I have seen all of these forms misprints. Misprints are VERY possible. Falsely translated a data set sounds like improper conversion of CAD software data to the STL file format. This is quite easy to do, especially since the STL file format sucks. If you don’t choose a high mesh density, your round, curvy part ends up looking ‘polygony’. Sometimes there are problems with the conversion process, and you end up with errors in your STL file, then you get a part that looks like swiss cheese with triangular holes. Or you don’t even get a part, as your part breaks up and crashes the fabricator.

    Wrong parameters is quite a common error, especially since fabricators vary(even the fabricators of the same model!) and vary over time! So fabricators have to be continually tuned and retuned, especially anytime a different material is used, maintenance is performed, or the stars are improperly aligned. If one’s parameters aren’t right you end up with burned, brittle(collapse into dust brittle), blobby, or noodlificated parts.

    And no, I’m not talking about homemade fabricators, I’m talking about industrial ones. Fabricators are still fairly new compared with other manufacturing technologies and still have many problems to be resolved…

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