The Development of Morph
Morph® is a sustainable modular construction system for office interiors which addresses the devastating impact furniture waste is having on the environment.
The problem with the office furniture industry
The office furniture market lacks affordable 100% recycled products. The industry also has a throw away culture, with company balance sheets often writing off furniture assets at fixed time periods, rather than as a result of condition, leading to the purchasing of new replacements. Plasterboard is disposed of as dilapidations return buildings to the original shell before being filled again with similar dividers in the latest layout.
According to the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), 10 million tonnes of furniture are disposed of by businesses and consumers in EU Member States each year. According to European Federation of Furniture Manufacturers (UEA) statistics, 80% to 90% of the EU furniture waste in MSW (municipal solid waste) is incinerated or sent to landfill, with only 10% recycled.
The volume of waste in the industry motivated us to find a solution.
Modular office furniture
Modular furniture can be repurposed to meet changing needs, increasing the longevity of investments. We knew that this was the right place to start when combating furniture waste.
We searched for products that were environmentally sustainable and that contributed to the growing movement for a truly circular economy. However, we found a severe lack of options for recycled material and virtually no products that were easily recyclable without lengthy re-engineering processes.
We soon realised that we would have to create our own.
Starting with experiments and research in our shed at home, we learnt how to recycle plastic ourselves. This later progressed to experimenting with recycled filament and 3D printing. Gradually, and with a target of creating some useful furniture at home, we began to develop cubes of plastic to create a modular construction system.
Once our broad vision for the product was agreed, a relatively quick progression followed. After several weeks and many versions of cube and connection system trials, we created Morph® and working through a DFM (design for manufacture) process, a prototype injection mould was developed.
Morph® – a sustainable flexible solution
Morph® offers a flexible, multi-purpose, 100% recycled system allowing repurposing of assets to reduce waste, encourage long-term investment and inspire a mindful approach to work interiors. It is inherently designed to enable 'new' products to be built to meet changing requirements.
We entered competitions to obtain support & investment to begin building and trialling products, and on our third attempt we succeeded in winning an Innovate UK sustainability grant.
The grant has enabled mass production of Morph® components, product design, tests and trials. We have successfully built desks, walls, tiered seating, meeting bays, dividers and tables of various sizes, deconstructing one to build another.
See below for some examples:
To date Morph has been used for a number of projects, testing various wall, table, and furniture combinations with excellent feedback. We are progressing into the development of other ranges within the Morph® product range, such as G-Morph which allows faster repurposing of furniture between different furniture types such as bleacher style seating breaking down to low benches within minutes.
Our new product demo video brings Morph® to life for potential end users, designers and architects. This will be followed by product configuration software to allow designers, architects and early adopters to experiment with our designs and quickly order product.
The future of Morph
Morph provides a genuinely flexible solution where products can be taken apart and repurposed as required giving companies the agility they need to face the challenges ahead, including navigating hybrid working or simply having your office furniture grow with you.
Morph Bricks are committed to a truly circular economy and we are exploring opportunities to encourage responsible production and use, be it a buy back option for our customers, local production hubs worldwide reducing travel impact, industry and consumer collaboration and co-operation including hire options and expanding our raw materials to the worst polluting plastics.
You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.