Architecture and Design Firm.

Manifest September 2020

Share-cropping for designers

Based in Tokyo, but in truth better situated in cyberspace, Plug-in Architects represents a new way to conduct and deliver design services. The founder, Ilgin Tunc, trained in Italy but originally from Turkey, has worked in Tokyo for several years on several precedents, including the renovation of the Nagakin Tower (the original plug-in) and the production wooden modules inserted as sleeping cubicles into existing buildings. She has moved on to propose a wider range of plug-in possibilities from the small scale of single pieces of furniture, to complete renovations of structures, to tactical urbanism. She opened her office to become an informal network of designers, who live in various cities throughout the world, including colleagues in Tokyo, Istanbul, Milan, and New York.


The guiding idea of Plug-in Architects is to offer services to improve existing buildings or streetscapes. Each of the members of Plug-in is either called upon when needed or solicits help on their own projects. Someone like the ancient agricultural system of share-cropping, it has evolved into a system of share-crafting. To promote the idea of Plug-in, Tunc organizes international workshops executed over the internet.(piaLAB)


Plug-in does not promote a style of design but rather a method of working, believing that in most places there are already enough buildings, but that a large quantity of buildings and spaces are underused, in need of repair, or could be reprogramed. Exploiting the communication fluidity of digital networks, which was made evident during the three-month confinement of 2020, the office has become analogous to an open source in which participants can plug-in when they want to collaborate, either as leaders or as helpers in plug-in projects.

© 2020 Plug-in architects inc.