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Make it Modular!

Continuing the theme of modular furniture (see Prisma post here), designers are continuing to use the idea of  "employing or involving a module or modules as the basis of design or construction" (Google definition).

MAXintheBOX modular table-chair combination by Perludi. Able to be used as a classic table-chair combination, as stools for adults, as a grocery store or a shelf for books.

These designers are working on the premise for designing for many possible applications or configurations - which are as endless as children's imaginations.

Froebel's 'Gifts'

Friedrich Froebel the pioneer of Kindergarten saw the opportunity apparent in modular objects which would reflect his belief in the relationship between physical activity and learning in young children.

Left are Froebel's 'third, fourth, fifth and sixth gifts' assembled into forms of each of the three realms. Right is Froebel's 'seventh gift' consisting of triangular and quadrangular tablets of coloured paper.

A system of play objects called the 'gifts and occupations', such as balls, blocks, sticks, paper and clay were introduced to the children by Froebel in a sequence of creative exercises intended to inspire learning and to instill in children an understanding of the "sacred language of geometry" which he believed as the basis for life.

The blocks:

Image author's own.

Coloured paper patterns:

Images author's own.

These abstract-design activities were intended to cultivate in children the ability to observe, reason, express and create.

Below are a number of current furniture and products that today are using the modular methodology - allowing flexibility, for one to arrange as desired and inviting the user to interact in it's arrangement and/or construction.


The Citybook Storage System (above) designed by Mr Less and Mrs More is a modular shelving shelving system comprised of a 'house-like' angled module, lending itself to distinctly different compositional possibilities - different to your usual shelving unit.

Fabricated in sheet iron, they're joined by magnets, making them easy to assemble and disassemble.


Storage need not be purely functional, but may be fun, sculptural and decorative - brightening up a space and bringing a sense of play.

Giant LEGO Bricks (shown left) may be stacked (like the originals) AND as storage for children to stash their goods in. Likewise with these stacked Pantone Storage Boxes, which are designed by Selab for Seletti.

Chair or Table = Pew

Side table, bedside table, stool or desk, the YooBoo PEW designed by Native Creative may be easily slotted together and comes in a variety of colours and patterns.

Folding table

While not strictly speaking "modular", this folding table may be altered (or folded) into a number of configurations to suit the user's mood. The Unfold Table designed by Morgan and Marley breaks the standard notion of a table - and shows that it can be so much more - and inspire fun!


Carrying on from Froebel's blocks, a number of new beutifully crafted wooden blocks are again emerging for children's play. Like shown here (Tegu - Endeavour set) these toys are simple and will last for generations - thus a worthy investment.

Wall Decals

Wall stickers offer the advantage of livening up a space, while unlike a new paint job may be easily removed. These 'Geometric' Stickers from Love Mae also offer another advantage in that they may be arranged in endless ways....


Made from 100% natural wool, these ZIP rugs designed by Alberto Sánchez are made of interlocking pieces that create amusing coloured hexagons, superimposed with triangular mathematical shapes - allowing maximum amounts of customisation.


These colourful Puzzle Cushions (or poufs) from Buzzi are flexible, versatile and fun-ky.

Whether for children or adults, these modular examples show how any product may be designed to not only be functional, but inspire the imagination and inject a bit of fun (and learning) into our spaces.


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