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Plugin House Initiative

The Plugin House demonstrates the possibilities of backyard homes and smaller living to provide housing affordable to all.

The Plugin House was showcased on City Hall Plaza in May 2018, demonstrating the possibilities of backyard homes and smaller living. Events brought together community leaders, policy makers, and housing advocates to discuss how solutions like the Plugin House can help alleviate Boston's housing crisis. The Plugin House hosted over 2,000 visitors and collected a wealth of feedback during the two-week period.

Watch a Video of the Plugin House

What It Is

The Plugin House is an easily assembled house, created by James Shen, a former Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a People’s Architecture Office Founding Partner.

The Plugin House demonstrates the possibilities of smaller and sustainable living. It provides opportunities for infill of vacant areas and additions in backyards to address the housing crisis. 

A group of Artists For Humanity teen employees and one staff member decorated the interior and exterior of the exhibition to demonstrate a potential small living layout and enliven the space with interactive public art.

Why We Did This

There is a movement among local and municipal governments nationwide to introduce policy to encourage the construction of small homes in infill areas or even backyards. 

The Plugin exhibition created an opportunity to discuss the impact of  small, affordable, easily assembled houses for backyards or infill parcels across Boston to add housing affordable to average residents.

The Plugin house expands on the successful Additional Dwelling Unit Pilot currently ongoing in the city of Boston that is helping homeowners create additional living spaces for their family or affordable rentals for their neighbors one unit at a time. 

plug in house interior

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