The Plug and Play City aspires to address social and civic concerns through flexibility, modularity and a diversity of programs and forms inserted into a smart system fostering new urban experiences. Many utopian projects of the mid 20th century have sought to solve diverse civic and social planning problems using technology combined with a system of ‘structure’ and ‘component’. With an ever-present avant-garde attitude and a theory rooted in both futurism and happiness, architects like Archigram, Archizoom, Superstudio and Constant Nieuwenhuys sought to change the perception of architecture.
Throughout the development of these utopian projects in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s two architectural elements were prevalent: a system and a component, or more directly, structure and unit. The structure, often, a ‘megastructure’ was an intelligent, scalable, flexible material system assembled from of a kit of parts. The component was typically a scalable modular unit, capsule or pod, which was inserted, or plugged into the larger structure grid. Typical modular units could be used for living and working, but were ultimately designed and sized to fit the human with the end result of the project providing for a new life experience for the users.