Allegorical Hermit Crab immigrations – art by Aki Inomata

Many of us change living places multiple times trough our lifetime. Some moved to another City, changed zip code. Started anew. Some of us change the country. Some even migrate to another continent. With time we will even colonize other inhabitable planets. All of this is amazing. But why change living environment, you ask? Well, these immigrations are natural process. Much like animals move to warmer climate during the winter, or hermit crabs growing to large for their shells. We have constant urge to adapt, change, update and improve our existence. Same happens with our living environment. We just outgrew it!


hermit crab 2


This mind blowing art created by talented Japanese artist Aki Inomata is a living testament of this story. Immigrations being a part of a human nature shown metaphorically trough specially designed habitats for hermit crabs. “Why not hand over a shelter to hermit crabs?” project was born. It is representing Hermit crabs transformation to the self-adaptation of humans. These architecture inspired plastic shells are a perfect dwelling for these Hermit crabs in dire need for a new home. How impressive!


hermit crab 3


Her creative process began with detailed CT scans of shells that Hermit crabs use as their habitat. This part of the process had to be done precisely. Having in mind strict and very selective procedure of shell picking of the crabs. This fact made the job that much harder.


hermit crab 4


Detailed 3D renderings of crabs empty shells are defined by Aki. Having the anatomy of interior of the shells in mind she created first habitable prototypes.


hermit crab 5


After making sure the shells are habitable, she started implementing the design. Most of her shells are depicting skylines of large cities or characteristic architectural pieces. Purely inspirational work with a jaw dropping idea behind it.


hermit crab 6

hermit crab 7


Will Hermit crabs immigrations continue? What is next around the corner?

After successful projects like these, one can only wonder what’s next? I personally believe that Aki Inomata has a lot more to share with the world. She is just coming out of her shell. Much like our little friend here. There are no limits to her creativity. I will surely follow her work, and report back on her progress.


hermit crab 9

aki inomata hermit crab art


Love you all,



Visual content courtesy of Aki Inomata

Igor Stanković

Igor Stanković

Hi, my name is Igor. I am a freelance designer and founder of Vector Alchemist and Whizual blog. Being passionate about art and aesthetics, and interested in variety of different topics I thought that I should share some of my insights and hopefully inspire some people in their creative thinking.

More Posts - Website

No Comments Yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One does not simply visit Whizual without subscribing

Subscribe to our weekly feed