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What does it take for furniture to be sustainable and accessible?  RSS feed

 
Andrew Personette
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Hi Permies,

I'm Andrew


I don't actually wear glasses, I just love this photo.

I've, been enjoying the wealth of information and experience in the forums for a little over a year now as I dig deep into Permaculture. I've only posted once, last fall, when I created a food forest workshop on my property in upstate New York.


Today I'm writing for 2 reasons.


1. I have an environmental design company that makes furniture.

Its called EcoSystems

My partner and I make products based on a holistic design approach. We built a furniture system by looking at every stage of product life cycle from materials, and manufacturing to shipping and even end of life. We set the scope of the life cycle in the bounds of a global system, because our goal would be to take a bite out of the wasteful butt of monsters like IKEA, and other big retailers.

Here is some of our environmental approach.

Our alpha product launch, in years past, was a near total market failure. We were trying to use traditional channels for selling and manufacturing. In the end we were just very expensive. We also dropped the ball on " care for people". We had made furniture that was pretty good for the planet, but didn't work for people. So we went back to the drawing board.

We reworked the product focusing on what was important to the people that would use it, all the while holding on to the environmental innovation that spurred the original development. Now we are taking the frightful step of submitting our baby to the public , and trying to take it to the next level of production, so the people can access it. That brings me to #2!


2. We just launched our new product, Modos, on Kickstarter!



http://kck.st/1j3yYSO
(campaign ends June 15th.)


Modos is a modular furniture system that uses connectors and boards to make desks, shelves, standing desks, stools and more. (Your imagination is the limit!) It's also tool free, and you can rearrange it as your life demands.

The London Financial Times calls it, "Legos for the design savvy adult".
Not that we care so much what they think, but we think they TOTALLY NAILED the short version of the description!


The system totally caters to DIYers. In this case you buy connectors and make your own boards.




We also sell complete furniture, for those who would rather be in the garden than the wood shop.


But really our goal is to make beautiful high quality furniture accessible to everyone. One friend called it the "democratization of furniture". He's a good friend. I'd love it if one day we can really deliver on that one.


Curiously, we found that pushing our environmental message caused a lot of *noise* in the minds of potential customers, so we don't push that message so hard in our marketing, though we keep it all in our product.


If you like it, please jump in, fund a little, and help us make it available to folks like yourself.
http://kck.st/1j3yYSO 


If you hate it, or just have questions, comments or any kind of feedback, please leave it below. This is a community that I would truly like to hear from and participate in. Its really my first time engaging in a virtual community (my Facebook page normally gets an update ~2x/yr), so be gentle, and I'll make sure to check in regularly while the thread is active.

Cheers!


Ps. Just for fun, here is the second Hugelkulture mound Hoot and I were making for my garden today. More on the Homestead later.
 
Alex Meckes
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Hi All,

I'm excited to join the permies community! I helped Andrew and Matt with the video, writing, and miscellaneous Kickstarter things. It's been a blast working with them. The product initially drew me in because of all the interesting design configurations that were popping up in our coworking space. Its so simple, but you can do so many different things with it. The possibilities and creativity involved with making something both useful and accessible is very exciting. As I learned more about the product and the thinking behind it, I realized that Modos makes a lot of sense from an ecological perspective too. There is very little waste because of the rectilinear form, the flat pack nature of the product makes it easy to ship, and the wood is sustainably sourced from a well reputed vendor. In addition, it will last for more than one move! Andrew and Matt fully considered the environmental lifecycle of Modos and it shows in their end product.

Please let me know if you have any questions! Be it about Kickstarter, DIY furniture, or anything in general, I'm open ears.

Alex
 
Horton Fisher
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Looks pretty cool. How big can your structures get with the connectors?
 
Scott Stiller
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Location: North Carolina zone 7
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You hooked me in guys. It was the video that did it. Best of luck. Scott
 
Andrew Personette
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Horton Fisher wrote:Looks pretty cool. How big can your structures get with the connectors?


Hey Horton, great question. I don't know the limit. But we were toying with that question when we made this:



That's about 14 1/2 feet tall. Its only like 3 feet wide at the base and 14 inches deep. It would need to be anchored to the wall to be kid safe, as anything with this proportion would. But its solid. A version of this has been in our office for almost a year. I'm sure you could go taller, wider, etc, and you can turn corners and such.

Its kind of like a geodesic dome, in that the more parts you connect the greater the stability due to dynamic forces. Also the mildly hexagonal shape contributes to that effect.

 
Andrew Personette
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Forgot to give a link to the Modos site too:

http://modos.io/
 
Matias Pajulahti
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Location: Turku, Finland
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Very cool! I've been looking for something like this. Do you think you could make some kind of "Modos boxes" for example when moving or if you want to have a closed shelf? Could it work with the parts you got already or does it need new parts?
 
Andrew Personette
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Hi Matias,
We have discussed all kinds of add-ons to flush out functionality of the system. I would imagine you could build something to do what you are asking, though I'm not 100% clear on the question. If you send a little sketch I can give better feedback. Sounds like you are talking about little baskets/bins that go inside the shelf openings. Is that the case?

Andrew
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