The mass production of modern design (à la IKEA) has gotten many designers implementing new ways to subvert this less-than-ideal state of affairs where everyone has the same homogenized, Allen key-assembled stuff.
Downloadable and 3D-printable design are possible solutions for relevant customization emphasizing creativity over the wasteful moving of material; while Dutch graduate design student Joscha Weiand's "Loose Joints" project proposes another more modular answer to the problem -- a kind of a freeform K'Nex approach to furniture.
Says Weiand about his inspiration behind the project:
These days many products are mass produced to keep up with demand, and especially to lower cost. This means that many of us have exactly the same products in our homes. Loose Joints is a modular system which can be mass produced but can also be used to create unique products.
Using five struts of different lengths and seven different joints, plus an infinite variety of household items, Weiand's system allows users to create their own furniture according to their needs, in addition to creating modern classics or new kinds of hybrid devices never before imagined.