In The Studio: MODU Method

Omar Al Gurg's brand is grounded in the notion that good design equates to good times

31 May 2022, words by Laura Cherrie Beaney in Design & Architecture

Omar Al Gurg | Modu Method
MODU founder, Omar Al Gurg’s design philosophy lies at the axis of playfulness and pragmatism. MODU is short for modular and the brand’s multifunctional designs take their cues from mid-century approaches, calling to be played with a personalised touch. Beyond MODU, Omar has been busy cultivating a community centered around an appreciation for thoughtful design, collaboration and innovation. We caught up with the MODU founder to discover how he’s rethinking the way that we engage with the lived environment.

Omar: I was raised in the UAE and studied Architecture at Queen's University in Belfast. By day I work with my family in our real estate division where I contribute to design decisions, project management, and develop concepts for renovations and new buildings. After work MODU gets my attention! 

 Omar: My appreciation for design began with art. I remember going to my first museum as a child and being surrounded by sculptures and paintings. Every art piece has a story and purpose. Looking back I realise that galleries and museums have contributed to my design language. 

 Omar: MODU (short for modular) is a house of interactive objects/articles that aim to create a sentimental and personal relationship between the user and the product. All MODU designs are interactive in some way which encourages the user to get up and move the pieces around to create something that reflects their unique way of living. The material that I have experimented with most (for now) is wood, although I am expanding slowly into other materials. 

 Omar: I established MODU because I wanted to problem solve. I remember sketching different pieces of furniture while I was doing my national service. I never anticipated that these pieces would come to life. Towards the end of the service, one thing led to another and Spike, a wooden hanger with movable pegs, was born, not long after Gene, a stool that triples up as a side table and storage space came to life. These concepts set the foundations for MODU. Bringing designs to life is not always an easy process but it's a journey that makes you appreciate the final product all the more when it’s a reality.

Modu method
MODU (short for modular) is a house of interactive objects/articles that aim to create a sentimental and personal relationship between the user and the product. All MODU designs are interactive in some way which encourages the user to get up and move the pieces around to create something that reflects their unique way of living.
Modu method Spike
Modu method Spike
Modu method gene
Modu method

Omar: MODU is fun, a little quirky, and doesn't take itself too seriously. The brand focuses on gathering people together and aims to eventually provide a way of living that is more convenient and fruitful. An important aspect of MODU Method is the cultivation of a community centred around the brand itself. We hope to grow and develop a big family of creatives and enthusiasts in the future. 

 Omar: MODU clients become friends. We cater to anyone that appreciates thoughtful design and we hope to develop an ongoing relationship with them. Our designs end up in different types of spaces from people that have recently moved into their homes to collectors that seek out special pieces to complete their space. 

 Omar: MODU is a magnet to furniture enthusiasts! They may not have many design objects at home but appreciate pieces for their aesthetics and practical applications. My aim is to make our designs as accessible as possible so that good design can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. I love doing what I do because I get to see how our clients interact with our pieces. The idea that MODU can make someone's day a little more convenient brings me so much joy.

Modu method
The point is to immerse them in an atmosphere that represents what MODU is about. The villa will be a space for creatives to gather. It's a comfortable house that wants to spark inspiration; a space where people can collaborate and build new ideas together.
Modu method
Modu method
Modu method
Modu method Omar Al Gurg
Modu method sketches
Omar: The Open Villa Project in Jumeirah is a community centred around MODU. I wanted to curate a homely space that’s inviting and comfortable rather than a showroom. When I have people over, I like for them to feel like they're coming into my home. The point is to immerse them in an atmosphere that represents what MODU is about. The villa will be a space for creatives to gather. It's a comfortable house that wants to spark inspiration; a space where people can collaborate and build new ideas together. 

Omar: My key inspirations come from the people I surround myself with, daily challenges and definitely the aesthetics of the 60s and 70s. For me, these eras represented people that were busy having a great time. Design was raw and full of soul back then. 

Omar: Mid-century design sensibilities have also been a major influence. Furniture produced during that movement tends to be practical and durable. The materials used back then and the craftmanship continue to hold their strength until today (if they have been properly cared for of course). Designers were also more experimental back then; their creations invested with personality - sophisticated or playful. Mid-century furniture is often interactive, which is what MODU is about. 

Omar: My advice, when approaching your environment don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and get something that might need to grow on you over time. Getting to know a new addition to your home is all part of the fun. Don't shy away from colours and always ask yourself if the piece you're about to acquire is going to make you feel happy.

Omar: Right now, I'm working on developing some new products that will hopefully be shown at this year's Downtown Design, and curating a few events that should take place in the villa. I can't wait for it to be a spot for creatives to convene. I'm also working on a few side projects that I hope to incorporate as part of the brand in the future. Watch this space!