Japanese artist Aki Inomata has partnered with, of all things, hermit crabs, to create a brilliant architectural art project. Using a 3D printer, Inomata created clear plastic shells with cities on them that were then promptly inhabited by their new hermit crab residents.

Hermit crabs usually inhabit vacated snail shells, but in their absence, they’ve been known to inhabit pieces of wood, stone or plastic, so their “partnership” with Inomata isn’t all that strange. Instead of their usual shells, Inomata provided them with tiny works of art to carry on their backs. The series is aptly titled “Why Not Hand Over a ‘Shelter’ to Hermit Crabs?”

Check out the videos below, where you get to see how the shells were made and how the hermit crabs moved in to their new homes.

More info: aki-inomata.com (h/t: spoon-tamago)

New York City

(c) AKI INOMATA

Zaanse Schans

(c) AKI INOMATA

Thailand

(c) AKI INOMATA

Santorini

(c) AKI INOMATA

Honfuer

(c) AKI INOMATA

Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou

(c) AKI INOMATA

Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?

 Process:

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