Plug-in Habitat is named after the famous ‘Plug-in City’ of architectural neofuturistic group Archigram. Its framework inspires Paula Nishijima’s collaboration with architect and artist Marlén López, whose research focuses on the application of biomimicry to architecture and engineering through new technologies of digital fabrication.
Plug-in Habitat proposes a ‘biodesign-imagining’ approach that explores adaptative structures and collective behaviour in living organisms and systems—e.g., plants and insects—in order to elaborate methods and create modular units that are attached to organisms and connected among themselves, constituting a superorganism. The component parts of it relate to each other in a symbiotic way, adapting together to altering conditions in the environment.
Nishijima and López aim to speculate about the concept of a ‘symbiotic cyborg’, whose technological appendage is at the service of the ‘other’ rather than the individual to which it is attached. Plants that serve as ‘shelter’ to other species or have inherent properties to adapt to environmental changes will be the model to prototyping structures that can be plugged into other organism(s).