Can Modular Design Increase Your Building’s Potential?
I am intrigued by this quote about modular design:
“A downside to modularity (and this depends on the extent of modularity) is that modular systems are not optimized for performance. This is usually due to the cost of putting up interfaces between modules.”(Wikipedia source here)
At first glance, modularity can give you ways to expand, re-locate or even provide for more mass customization opportunities within your work. And in some cases, modules can have such distinct characteristics that they actually serve to “brand” your work — if done well, this can be a good thing.
Yet, there is so much missed opportunity when it comes to the module. Instead of always trying to have modules “lock” into one another, try to provide each module with a proverbial “key” to unlock its neighboring modules in certain ways.
Just like the cells of the body which must communicate chemically to keep the entire system healthy, modules within an architectural design could communicate and thus, change their functions as needed, wherever needed.
Such modular communication allows for an entire “systems” approach to building not only functions, but also behaviors. So why not ask if there are any missed opportunities in your design where modules can communicate?
And just as a side note, sensors and actuators are only one way to get this done.