Modularity and Choice

A long time ago, back when I was doing a degree, I remember reading about how in the ‘future’ products may be modular and customisable. A customer choosing elements of their specifications from a menu and the end product being a customised version to suit the individuals specific needs.

Even back then, I thought this was optimistic but perhaps we are getting closer in some industries.

A good example of this is in the car industry where a new buyer can spec the car when they order it and it is effectively made that way, to order. Even in the fast food industry, Burger King have marketed consumer choice as one of their biggest USP’s over Macdonalds (have it your way). Customise your burger!

Modules or customer choices can be put together like lego bricks to combine into a whole product. An idea which captures the imagination of the customer preparing a product entirely to their specification. And why not, after all design is fun isn’t it?

Now, the green bit…

A company called Trexa has come up with the idea for an electric chassis and power platform which is designed to work in exactly this way, but for the vehicle designer to create eco-friendly vehicles. Rather than starting from scratch, the designer of a vehicle can begin with a working ‘green’ chassis and build the vehicle application around it. Kind of reminds me of the way a software designer has the hardware in place and develops an ‘app’ for it.

Another angle on this is the consumer repurposing waste packaging.

The problem with having a lot of cardboard waste is what to do with it. Sure it’s possible to buy products already that use recycled cardboard rather than energy intensive steel and plastics but what about the end user repurposing waste in a creative way?

The makedo connector system is a really interesting product – simple small mouldings enabling the repurposing of waste. My point here is that the angle of enabling rather than simply being recycled gives the consumer that choice, option and enjoyment of creating something for themselves, by themselves.


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