Author(s): Burkhard Meltzer
In 1965, leading Swiss furniture company USM patented its signature modular furniture system, USM Haller. This flexible storage solution for both home and office was inspired by Fritz Haller’s modular architecture and designed for infinite reuse and reconfiguration. Considered a design classic, USM Haller is included in the collections of major museums including MoMA and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.
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.