Rethinking the Modular

Rethinking The Modular

Adaptable Systems in Architecture and Design

(In association with USM)
  1. Edited by Burkhard Meltzer
  2. Tido von Oppeln
  • ISBN 9780500292358
  • 24.00 x 16.20 cm
  • Paperback with flaps
  • 298pp
  • With 275 colour illustrations
  • First published 2016

An exploration of the past, present and future importance of the modular in architecture and design

Rethinking the Modular

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.

Building on the visionary design system that architect Fritz Haller and engineer Paul Schärer developed in 1965 for Swiss furniture company USM, Rethinking the Modular brings together specially commissioned essays and interviews with leading designers, architects and thinkers to present the wide-ranging importance and influence of modular design produced over the past fifty years.

In revealing the broad possibilities created by balancing structure with flexibility, this timely publication redefines the place of modularity in modern design history, and offers a rich resource for designers today.

Burkhard Meltzer is a curator and writer for such magazines as Kunstbulletin, frieze and Spike. He is the author of Ana and, with Tido von Oppeln, edited It’s Not a Garden Table: Art and Design in the Expanded Field. Tido von Oppeln also edited the book Totem and Taboo: Complexity and Relationships between Art and Design. He has been a lecturer in design theory and history in Lucerne and Zurich since 2009.

Contributing authors:
Dimitri Bähler, Lorenzo Bini, Bless, Thomas Dienes, Go Hasegawa, Rem Koolhaas, Thomas Lommée, Wolf Mangelsdorf, Jürgen Mayer H., Alva Noë, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Nathalie du Pasquier, Rick Poynor, Catharine Rossi, Antonio Scarponi, Jerszy Seymour, Martino Stierli, Georg Vrachliotis and Allan Wexler.