Plug-In for Rehab – Exhibition


Plug-In 4 Rehab

Plug-In 4 Rehab

Modular Units for Contemporary Nomads

Viale Molise n. 68, Milano
October 3rd –  November 3rd 2019


The “Plug-in 4 Rehab” workshop consisted in a two-part course which took place in Milan during the month of October 2019. It concerned the ideology of the “Plug-in”, first made popular in the 1960s by the Japanese Metabolists and by Archigram. The Plug-in of 50 years ago proposed architecture for modern nomads, assuming futurist buildings prepared as technologically equipped scaffolds into which prefabricated units for dwelling or workers could be inserted or extracted at will. Plug-in predicated a future of joyful uprootedness. The TerraViva reinterpretation of the Plug-in concept is for sure more modest and it assumes that the high-tech component is already present in our lives: due to the incremental spread of wi-fi and digital technologies, people are finally being freed from spatial rootedness. It was thus proposed a similar flexibility of making designs for living (sleeping, reading, writing, cooking) made from more comfortable and biodegradable materials (or in some cases recycled materials).

The first part of the workshop took place at Politecnico di Milano (Campus Leonardo) and it was developed as a design workshop organized as a sort of “Internal Competition”: students were divided in different groups and they worked intensively for an entire week on their proposal regarding the “Plug-in Pavilions”.  After the final presentation, every project was evaluated by TerraViva, AIDA Atelier and M^C^O staff and three of them were awarded as “Winners”.

The second part of the workshop involved the actual realization of the three winning projects in 1:1 scale. All the teams participated in the construction phase which was hosted at M^C^Os’s hangar and lasted 3 full days. The workshop concluded with an open exhibition where visitors could test the three built pavilions. The panels and physical models from the unrealized projects were also displayed along the hangar.

Migration, mass tourism, share economy, and climate change are new factors that create an increased demand for nomadic devices, implying architectural solutions with the flexibility of cell phones. Rather than destroying and rebuilding the whole world, the new plug-in approach aspires to adapting to existing buildings and landscape. It also hopes to serve alternative social solutions based on the share economy, such as co-housing and co-working. The underlying reason for the “Plug-in 4 Rehab” workshop in Milan was to promote a more environmentally responsible mode of intervention, using biodegradable materials for new additions while preventing the waste of demolitions and the use of dubious construction materials.

Image © Eugenio Chir