For a series of awesome sculptures entitled Why not hand over a shelter to hermit crabs?, Japanese artist Aki Inomata creates plastic habitats for hermit crabs inspired by styles of architecture ranging from major cityscapes (like New York’s skyline) to Parisian apartments or Tokyo-style homes.

Aki Inomata creates these delicate and beautiful new habitats by first conducting CT scans of her hermit crabs’ discarded shells. Capturing a detailed 3D rendering of their abandoned homes enables her to prototype and produce new habitable shelters that her hermit crabs will find similar to their usual homes.

"The semi-transparent, delicate forms are designed in the style of physical human environments, which ironically become a shelter for the aquatic arthropods. The biology of the hermit crab makes it a fascinating example of identity transfer — as they grow they require larger shells and periodically interchange their external portion with other members of the crustacean community. Inomata connects her study of the hermit’s transformation to the self-adaptation of humans, whether it be in acquiring a new nationality, immigrating or relocating."

[via Designboom]