Considering a modular approach but not really sure what the whole concept of modularity actually means? We reckon it’s the best thing since sliced bread or possibly Stonehenge… and here’s why.
What is modular design?
The Roman city, train carriages, the columns and lintels of Stonehenge, the wheel, clay bricks, toast, movable type and computer processors all have one thing in common. Ranging from the layout of towns to small pieces of silicon these important artefacts came about from thinking that life could be healthier, more beautiful, better value, more precise, faster, more robust and more knowing through modularity. That is to say setting dimensional boundaries to certain things doesn’t actually restrict choice in many ways it actually allows greater choice.
So things become interchangeable. A city block can be used for housing or for a granary, a broken lintel can be quickly replaced, type can be rearranged to drastically change meaning, bricks of different colours and strengths can be swapped and computers can be upgraded. This functional and visual flexibility when creatively applied to furniture design has all those same benefits of choice and value.
The best furniture comes to market with its rigorously tested and prototyped DNA stamping a distinct personality and quality on the way it looks, and feels and handles. And even the way it goes together. The limit with modular furniture is nearly always the imagination and of course a few things like room dimensions. But these are also its advantages.
If you get bored or your needs change, modular furniture can be reconfigured by adding or subtracting modules to make better use of space and be adaptable enough to suit a wide variety of decors and styles and to give almost limitless possibilities. And with boundaries between home and work getting ever more blurred it is suitable for both environments. Perfect for businesses that plan to expand or contract, and perfect for the small to medium sized home office.
Other modular design uses
Modular buildings methods have gained new importance in recent years by being able to achieve innovative high quality design solutions in complex and demanding sites. And this same approach is equally appropriate for affordable housing where factory manufacture to exacting tolerances has achieved a 40% reduction over traditional building methods. Furthermore, the precision construction means a degree of air-tightness that achieves level six of the code for sustainable homes.
When these benefits are combined with the use of sustainable materials, when the designs are easily fabricated in a factory, when material waste is engineered to an absolute minimum and when the final product can be disassembled and reconfigured to suit changing needs, then you really are on to something very smart.
From beehives to bookcases to bus shelters modular design is with us and with us to stay…but then again we always knew that.