New Story

For families living on less than $200 per month, access to safe housing that provides shelter from both environmental and physical danger is critical. While vulnerable populations are typically the last to benefit from innovation, 3D printing, in particular, offers a new and powerful tool to scale to affordable housing and elevate the lives of some of the most impoverished populations around the globe.

Fuseproject has partnered with New Story Charity, a non-profit working on a mission to end global homelessness and ICON, a construction technology company dedicated to revolutionizing homebuilding, to design, plan, and build the world’s first 3D-printed community. Our adaptable home designs, coupled with this groundbreaking technology, makes it possible to construct a safe and affordable home in 24 hours.


This first of its kind community will provide families in Latin America affordable housing that adapts to their day-to-day lives. Families from this community have been involved in the planning process from the start – a unique attribute to New Story’s community planning process. The population is made up of mostly farmers and artisans with ages that range from newborns to the elderly and who often live in multi-generation homes. Working directly with these families; we provided options that responded to their housing needs in ways that extended beyond single traditional home design. Additionally, using 3D technology allowed us to offer solutions to address important questions related to climate, household structure, and the role that the homes play in creating community.

We began by facilitating a series of on-the-ground workshops to understand and adapt plans and designs to the community’s specific motives, habits, and needs. Through this process, we uncovered the necessity to design a system that allows for different programs, adapts to climate factors, and even enables building second floors safely as families grow.

Each lot is 120-square meters, while the interior space of each home is approximately 55 square meters. The design reflects a culture of using outdoor spaces for cooking, food preparation, and eating. The roof overhang over the front and back patios provides added shade from the sun, protection from rainfall, and a space for socializing. The simple addition of front and rear outdoor lighting offers a sense of safety and security for the families.

The design and technology allow the homes to adapt to local environmental conditions such as climate and seismic activity, by incorporating additional reinforcement into the wall cavities and using the walls themselves to resist lateral movement.

Inside the homes, 3D printing uniquely enables built-in elements such as counters in the kitchen and bathroom, seating, shelves, and ledges in the walls, and embedded structural hooks for building closets, storage, and clothes-lines. The technology has also been adapted to a tropical environment with heavy rainfall by utilizing strategically placed windows, door openings, and an open floor plan to encourage natural cross-ventilation.

We’ve created options and areas for customization that families can choose from to help them personalize their homes, feel a sense of ownership, community, and security. The process has been beautifully collaborative and has led to creative solutions for an adaptive design born in partnership with the local community.

social impact

This collaboration unites designers, builders, and technology innovators in leveraging cutting-edge 3D printing technology to deliver high-impact housing solutions for underserved populations. Phase one will serve about 200 people in 50 homes. Long-term, this community will have closer to 400 homes total, impacting thousands of people and paving the way for broader expansion to communities in need across Latin America and beyond.



  • International Design Awards

    • Silver - Architecture Categories - Low cost housing, 2021
    • Bronze - Architecture Categories - Sustainable Living/Green, 2021
  • Fast Company Innovation by Design

    • Winner - Cities Category - New Story Charity, 2020
    • Finalist - Social Good Category - New Story Charity, 2020
    • Finalist - Spaces & Places Category - New Story Charity, 2020
  • Spark Awards

    • Platinum Winner - Space Category, 2020

related projects

related posts