Plug and Live System: 18 Boxes from Brazil to Argentina, from Waste to Art


Photos: Courtesy of A77 architects.

Argentinean architects Gustavo Dieguez and Lucas Gilardi took 18 wood boxes that were waste from the Brazilian automobile industry and transformed them into the Plug and Live System: a collection of modules to build transitory habitats and experiment with different ideas of housing.

As the project moves on to team up with companies and NGOs to recover more waste and build cultural spaces, the original 18 boxes arrive in Brazil for the second exhibit that shows them turned into art, Moradias Transitorias.

Read on to follow the story of the boxes and see more pictures.How to turn 18 wood boxes from waste to art

Gustavo Dieguez and Lucas Gilardi, from the architecture studio A77, began getting involved in sustainability through the contest Amphibious Living, in which they participated in 2000.

Their Plug and Live project started in 2005, when they discovered a set of boxes that had been brought from Brazil holding automobile parts and discarded as waste. Moved by their desire to explore ideas of dwelling and transitory living, and motivated by the competition Living Box, they came up with a system of 11 modules that respond to different needs, which can be used to build habitable spaces. Dismantled, the modules fit into a container and can be transported very easily.


The boxes, before finding their new destiny.

We have seen the idea of upgrading scrap materials into high end goods and art in posts like design studios recycling pallets into art, and the concept of transitory living has been explored in posts like the Dystopic Horizons Realty's project for cardboard homes.

For the folks at A77, the Plug and Live System is both a way to recover materials and generate a reflection about modern living. "Apart from recovering and reusing discarded materials, we wanted to make people think about the ways we live and create a discussion about dwelling. The modules might not be enough for a family house, but we explored the idea of temporary institutions: cultural centers that could be open for a short period of time oriented to connecting communities, and they proved to be very interesting," explain the architects.

"Artists don't call this art, designers don't consider this design, and architects say we're not part of architecture either. We don't really care about definitions, our interest right now is to work with everything that's outside the consume area, all that's left," they say. Apart from the Plug and Live System, for example, the designers did a recent house remodeling using iron from demolitions.


The 11 modules of the system, each with their home function.
Next: Spaces created with the Plug and Live System

Tags: Architecture | Argentina | Buenos Aires | Concepts & Prototypes | Small Spaces

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