Flatpack furniture may have played its part in saving removalists from a world of back pain, but there is only so many times that those cheap panels can be pulled apart and put back together. The team behind Modos is looking to offer more durable furnishings while taking this convenience a little further, with a modular furniture system that uses simple connectors and wooden boards to form everything from stools to media centers.
Modos was founded Matt Tyson and Andrew Personette, a pair of industrial designers from Brooklyn, New York. Modos was inspired by what the duo perceived as a sacrifice of quality for the sake of convenience in flatpack furniture, which by extension, results in a shorter lifecycle of the products and higher amounts of waste.
As such, Tyson and Personette set about designing a sturdy, high-quality furniture system that could not only be easily transported, but reconfigured to take different shapes as people move home or their needs change. The boards are made using 15 layers of plywood and are laminated with formaldehyde-free glue. Measuring 0.75 in (1.9 cm) thick, they are pre-finished with maple or walnut veneers and come in various sizes depending on what it is you are trying to build.
Joining the panels are anodized aluminum connectors. According to the company, sliding the end of board into the 1-in (2.54-cm) wide connector will create a "friction fit." This involves the aluminum flexing and compressing the board, creating a strong, but easily dismantled joint in the process. Modos has kits and design templates available for desks, shelves and stools, or if you are feeling more creative you can order a bunch of boards and connectors and let inspiration run free.
Modos isn't alone in exploring the potential of modular furnishings, nor is it the first to take a run at tool-free assembly of flatpack furniture. ModCubes, which we looked at earlier in the year, uses Lego-inspired building blocks to construct anything from baby cribs to bunk beds, while the MAG furniture line comes flat-packed and snaps together using powerful magnets at the joints. The vision of the Modos appears to lie somewhere in between, with the team looking to offer the versatility of modular furniture systems without the hassle of nuts, bolts and Allen keys.
Modos is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign as the team looks to raise funds and scale-up its production. The pledge levels of the different kits vary from US$60 for a laptop computer stand up to $850 for a glass-top desk kit. A do-it-yourself connector mega pack is set at $650. The company hopes to begin shipping in October 2014 if all goes to plan. You can hear from Tyson and Personette in their pitch video below.