The majority of items, identified in the Maintenance Survey results, that users associated with the meed for regular maintenance were mechanical in nature. Alongside this, users identified the need for specialist knowledge and specialist facilities as the primary reasons for deferring some or all of the maintenance to someone else.

If it is desirable to encourage users/owners to engage with the active maintenance of their possessions, finding a way to remove the barriers presented by the need for this knowledge and equipment could help to facilitate greater participation.

The concept of modular design has been known for a long time and is ofter recognised as a feature of system furniture design, but has been applied in many fields. Interestingly, modularity is highlighted as a key principle in the NASA design of maintenance guide that is applied to Spacecraft Design.


Modular design is practiced in the automotive industry, but only in the way in which components can be shared across a range of vehicles. As stated on the Modular Motor concept board, the Nexcel system under development by Castrol shows the way in which previously complex maintenance procedures can be democratised through design development.

As Castrol predominately deal with oil products, it is likely that the development of this system will be limited to the sector that they operate in. However, this principle has the potential to be applied across many other maintenance procedures and many other product categories beyond the automotive sector.

modular sketch
early concept sketch

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