The Breakout Grant $15,000 Recipient: Reclaimed Plastic Furniture Connector by Modos Furniture

Modos Furniture is a Brooklyn-based design studio focused on developing products with a positive societal and ecological impact. Its impressively simple tool-free furniture system uses connectors and boards to create custom design solutions. Modos Furniture sees infinite potential in this high value, low-cost furniture solution which has a range of applications and potential users, from those with limited resources to those impacted by natural disasters, or even micro-businesses in need of simple, adaptable furnishings. Aiming to make its design concept even more environmentally sound, the team would like to replace its connectors made of extruded aluminum with recycled ocean plastic. The Breakout Grant funding will allow Modos Furniture to partner with OceanWorks, a recycled plastic material supplier, to source plastic that has been collected and cleaned from the ocean, ready for injection molding. This grant will also enable the team to secure a design patent which will make it easier to bring on additional partners, receive investment, and ultimately, help the team pursue its vision of improving the environment, supporting social equity, and changing the relationship people have with their furniture. Lastly, the funding will support an ongoing partnership with the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Department of Education to give students exposure to opportunities in the design and manufacturing industries in the city. Since 2017 Modos Furniture has invited public high school and college students to work with them through paid internships, giving them personal projects geared towards developing critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, computer skills, prototyping experience, and entrepreneurial skills.