The modular did not have to be invented: it can be found everywhere. We divide surfaces into grids, spaces into parts, time into rhythmic units. Modular structures are also increasingly being recognized as a way of communicating, where the aim is not to construct a universal principle but to facilitate interplay between different systems.
Released as part of USM s fiftieth-anniversary celebration of this iconic furniture design, Rethink the Modular examines the role of unit-based systems in the wider context of architecture and design. It combines previously published writings, specially commissioned essays from thinkers and innovators John Thackara and Rick Poyner, and interviews with leading figures in the design world that explain how the concept of the modular influences their work. Interspersed with visual material, the texts reveal the many possibilities created by balancing structure with flexibility, and seek to redefine the place of modularity in modern design history. "