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MODULE R: The Concept

MODULE R is a concept store dedicated to transformable art and design. We collect pieces from all over the world that are customizable, reconfigurable, expandable, stackable, nested, interchangeable, interactive and modular (or evocative of these themes). Among the items we display are accessories, furniture, housewares, children’s playthings and furniture, cookware and tableware, jewelry, books, storage systems, space dividers, floor and wall coverings, and artwork. Our catalog features work from some of the world’s top brands as well as uncommon items from less well-known designers and artists.

Where We're Coming From

We are often asked where our retail concept came from. Architecture, we answer. That’s because the company’s founder, Donald Rattner, is an architect and principal of the firm Studio for A.R.T. and Architecture (but you know that from visiting this site).

Let us explain. In 2001, Mr. Rattner was commissioned to design thirty identical cottages for an historic spa resort in West Virginia. To meet the project requirements the client directed that the structures be constructed out of prefabricated modular units. This was something largely unfamiliar to Rattner, who until then had designed buildings chiefly assembled in the field, rather than in a factory.

Delving into the subject to learn more, Rattner became exposed to an array of inter-related themes derived from emerging technologies, from open source design to computer-aided-manufacturing to mass customization. In exploring these subjects Rattner broadened his interest to include the other fine arts as well as product design. He soon discovered there existed many outstanding works of art and design embracing the new tenets of modularity and personalization. He also observed there was no central marketplace dedicated to this particular product genre. MODULE R was founded to fill that void.

Photo by Nora Wolf.  You know, it's all a front.


A Store is Born

MODULE R opened its flagship store on November 17, 2011 on the street some have called the Champs-Elysees of Brooklyn, and others call Atlantic Avenue. Yes, you really could see the Atlantic from the foot of the Avenue just a few blocks away (okay, technically New York Harbor). This put us on the boundary between Brooklyn Heights, New York’s first landmark district, to the north and Cobble Hill, equally brownstone-beautiful, to the south. Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Dumbo and Downtown are other nearby neighborhoods, each with their own attractions and character.

Sadly, we were not able to sustain the store, perhaps because everyone was shopping on Amazon. So we closed it in March 2014 to focus exclusively on the webstore.

To visit us online click here.