Kusheda Mensah graduated from Surface Design at London College of Communication in 2015. In 2018, on a brave whim, she submitted a hand-drawn collection of modular furniture and was invited to participate in that year’s edition of the Salone Satellite. This was the seed from which the design studio Modular By Mensah was born.
At the heart of Modular By Mensah’s practice is an inquiry into the social issues that confront us and how social design as a response can remedy those issues. The configurable and functional approach to our furniture aims to bring design to life by awakening social spaces. Embodied in this response is the encouragement of better social behaviours, harnessing elements of social design to facilitate interaction through curiosity, investigation and play.
The first major collection MUTUAL examined the decline of interaction in public spaces, using reconfigurable abstract pieces to spur movement and acting as a physical invitation to reassemble one’s own social space. Following on from the success of this collection, the studio was commissioned to create pieces for a co-living space Mason and Fifth in South London, Bermondsey.
Most recently the brand explored the issue of sustainability in the Modular By Mensah X Adidas collection. Inspired by the beauty of the ocean and a reaction to the impact of the increasing pollution across the world’s seas, the custom designed seating commissioned by Adidas for their flagship Oxford St store. The pieces were made from reused and recycled plastic as a sustainable response to this issue.
Sustainability is a very important part of the practice. All pieces are made in the UK to reduce CO2 emissions. The studio uses recon (recycled) foam to make newly designed pieces, recognising the importance of upcycling and recycling to utilise reusable materials. The upholstery used is either recycled plastics or fabrics, or a by-product, which Modular prides in having a long lifecycle. The pieces are an investment, a statement and to be recognised as a collectors item; generational objects that persist and accumulate vibrancy as they live through our stories.
The new collection arriving later this year, contemplates the idea of home and how objects interact with memory and the sense of self as we seek coherence and security in old and new environments. The projects and ideas at Modular continue to evolve beyond the mainstay of furniture, branching out into other realms of design and discovering its ability to transcend the functional. No matter where life’s journey leads the brand, Modular By Mensah will always be motivated by the power of social design to promote wellness, inspire interaction and encourage cohesiveness.