An artist in Japan uses 3-D printing to create homes for hermit crabs that represent famous places and architecture from around the world. Julie Noce reports.
This hermit crab is living in Paris. This one is living in Morocco. Often these small crustaceans use salvaged shells, rocks, wood or sometimes even garbage to live in. But thanks to Japanese artist Aki Inomata, they now have bespoke homes shaped to resemble famous places and architecture. The crabs can now move to different cities from all over the world, and exchange homes, she says. Inomata uses 3-D printing to make outer shells for the crabs. Her project is called "Why Not Hand Over a 'Shelter' to Hermit Crabs" and explores issues surrounding migration and national identity. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) ARTIST, AKI INOMATA, SAYING: "Hermit crabs, carrying a part from a different creature on their back, happen to be identified by their shells, rather than themselves. I thought this was similar to the fact that I am Japanese, but I could change my nationality to French, and so I aimed to incorporate these ideas into these pieces." This is not the first time Inomata used animals in her projects... one included clothes made for her dog out of her hair, and a coat for herself made from her dog's hair.