Plugin House in the US


So why is the Plugin House is in Newbern, AL? The idea is for PAO to join Rural Studio in exploring ways of reducing housing cost through design innovation.

MAY 2018   Boston Wants People To Build Tiny Houses In Their Yards

The city is showing off a prototype for “pop-up” affordable housing—and easing rules on accessory dwelling units.

May 2018   The City of Boston Wants You to Put a Tiny Home in Your Backyard

The 360-square-foot house, created from a series of insulated panels, is meant to be easily constructed by the average person.


May 2018 Innovative Housing Units Can Be Built In Hours By Hand

MIT graduate James Shen designed what he calls a plug-in house that can be constructed in one day using only an Allen wrench. WBZ-TV's David Wade reports.

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MAY 2018 Tiny Home on Display in Boston Could Address City's Housing Challenge

With space at a premium and prices rising, the PlugIn house is just the latest strategy the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab is asking for feedback on as they look for ways to address Boston’s housing challenge.

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Could this tiny house make a big impact on Boston's housing crisis?

Marcy Ostberg is the director of Boston's housing innovation lab, which is looking at different ways to create 53,000 new units in Boston by 2030, when the city's population is expected to reach 700,000 people.


Plugin House in China


October 2016 Beijing's 13th century hutongs get a futuristic makeover

Can one architect's low-cost pre-fabricated modernizing techniques save this charming Chinese neighborhood?

November 2017 Plugging Into the Past

A quick, inexpensive method to modernize Beijing’s traditional courtyard house interiors is slowly gaining traction—and it could become a key to preserving not only these historic structures but also the culture that has developed around them over the centuries.

December 2014 How China Works

Whether it's investigating the world's fastest trains, exploring the technology behind China's most successful smartphone app, or building and operating the world's biggest machinery, Danny meets some of the country's brightest minds in an attempt to understand HOW CHINA WORKS.


October 2017 World Architecture Festival: Homes that work with Nature

Through improving living standards for an affordable price within given social constraints, the Plugin House attempts to breath new life into old neighborhoods with a new urban vernacular.

March 2017 This $10,000 tiny home can be built with a single tool in less than a day

With just $10,000 worth of materials and a hex wrench, a construction team can build the Plug-in House in less than 24 hours.

November 2017 Economy Class

Mrs. Fans’ Plugin House in a Beijing hutong by People’s Architecture Office solved exigent financial and spatial issues.


Articles on People’s Architecture Office

June 2017 These Young Chinese Architects are helping save old beijing

The narrow streets at the center of the city are rapidly disappearing as the urban core is gentrified. But while some architects might be helping as the government tears down entire neighborhoods in order to modernize the city, one local firm is doing the opposite.



The dilemmas of hutong life give PAO its raison d’être. In 2013, one of PAO’s practical ideas became the darling of a Dashilar revitalization project, receiving the endorsement of Beijing’s vice mayor. The idea: a courtyard “plug-in.”

Habitable urban fragments

As often happens in China, PAO quickly churned out a series of designs and built projects that are unique both for their ideological approach and their formal results. The ideology is that architecture should have a positive impact on the lives of a large number of people, and thus not be conceived as a service for an elite.