How It All Began

It was in the year 2000 that former school friends, Jon Powell and Ed Richardson, both with backgrounds in furniture, set upon the idea of establishing a British furniture design company that could hold its own against the celebrated European brands.

With a buoyant entrepreneurial spirit, the pair approached British designer, Simon Pengelly, and embarked upon their first collaboration – Meta – a pressed steel shelving system.

Modus launched the following year at 100% Design and Meta was shortlisted for the Blueprint Design Awards. The success of their first piece determined a new path – the creation of a collection that celebrated British design and manufacturing.

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British Design & Manufacturing

British designer Michael Sodeau, who would later spend a decade as Creative Director, was next to come on board with a collection of pressed ply chairs and tables.

Over the next two years our roster of designers grew, with up-and-coming, London based designers, Sam Johnson and Morph and acclaimed design studio Pearson Lloyd joining the line-up. In 2004 we took the plunge and opened our first London showroom on Great Portland Street.

Milan was calling, so the following year Modus exhibited in Zona Tortona during Milan Design Week, in what would become an annual pilgrimage to the furniture design capital.

Michael Sodeau

International Design & British Manufacturing

As the brand grew, we began to forge new relationships with international designers, including Claesson Koivisto Rune, Patrick Norguet, Monica Förster, Stephen Burks, Christophe Pillet and Arik Levy.

At this point, many of our designers were, like our founders, young, ambitious creatives, but in time, have become globally renowned names.

This then, became the new mission, to unite the best international design talent with British manufacturing.

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An Award-winning Collection

The following years saw many pieces in the collection gain recognition for their design excellence: Jonathan Prestwich’s OS chair scooped the Wallpaper Design Award for best dining chair and the 2007 collection won the ICFF Editors’ Award in New York. The prestigious Design Guild Mark was awarded to no less than four products and Pearson Lloyd’s Hem chair won the first of our FX Design Awards.

In 2010 we opened a new showroom in the heart of Clerkenwell and launched the PLC chair in Milan. The chair’s success led to the development of a complete PLC range and an exhibition, ‘Pick a Colour’ showcasing the chair in a rainbow of 36 colours. PLC remains one of the most popular pieces in our collection.

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Crafted in Somerset

As we began to outgrow our premises, work began on the construction of an architect designed HQ and factory. In 2015 we moved in, and upholstery production was brought in house, drastically reducing furniture miles and kick-starting the creation of a skilled team of local craftspeople.

That same year we began our sustainability journey in earnest, looking at how improvements could be made to both production methods and the products themselves.

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With a rapidly growing team, we began to broaden our collection and work with exciting new materials and processes. We developed a collection of cork stools and tables by Michael Sodeau and the meticulously engineered Pearson Lloyd Edge range, which went on to win another FX Design Award.

in 2019 we completed the construction of a new facility that would enable us to bring upholstery and joinery under one roof. Crafted from start to finish in the new factory, and winner of the prestigious Good Design Awards 2019, Simon Pengelly’s VWork collection is testament to the longevity of our relationships and the quality of our design and craft.

This year Modus will be turning 22. A lot has changed since our beginnings but we remain dedicated to producing world class furniture of the highest standards of design, craft and quality, with the lightest of footprints.

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