An homage to modular thinking. Modularity is the capability to adapt and combine with something else in order to create something new. Ironically, it is the limitations of a standard, which enables opportunity. Lowering the threshold to combine and thus lowering the threshold to create is the breathing of opportunity. Inviting modular capabilities to any product, whether or not the product proceeds to become an established platform. Is the invitation to let the user not only impact but define new norms…
I worker with Rumtiden to create a new eating system Eat2. For so many years our eating habits were defined by the tools our designers gave us. Then norms were created around the limitations of those geometries. What happens when we realise that the food in front of us becomes not just another activity but spawning of a new domain for creativity. Some might even say that a giving birth to a new modular system is like a fractal, a new reality with its own logic like our reality has its own parameter and logic. A fractal within our world? A fractal that spawns art innovation and new room for new cultures to emerge. So why isn’t everything modular?
The unexpected virtue of modularity
When designers create any product, users are involved in either the inspirational phase the discovering of a new need that lead to the new product or during the prototyping/iterative phase of the design(usability research). But the involvement then stops there. This is ultimately the amount of breath that will ever spawned into considerations of this product. It’s a closed loop. The invitation to create stops there. Whatever use cases the user might have expressed up until this point is through the interpretation of the designer articulated in the product. And these articulations, of shapes and signifiers becomes the and the only ways around which humans will later use this product. The only way around which humans will use this product. And if innovative enough this will lead to new ways that the users have used a product. Still these uses are the interpretations articulated by the designer.
Creating any new physical product, with some degree of modularity that allows for combining or separating is, at the bare minimum a product with an open ended number of use cases ready to be explored designed and defined by the user. At best It can be the opening up to a new domain. A new standard with parameters to create within. Inviting people, concepts, expression, ideas and inventions to emerge and exist within. When we create a standard that enables infinite combinations we have created a domain within which you are free to explore and create.