Where We Came From

We are often asked where our retail concept came from. Architecture, we answer. That’s because the company’s founder, Donald Rattner, is an architect and principal of his firm Studio for A.R.T. and Architecture.

Let us explain. In 2001, Mr. Rattner was commissioned to design thirty identical cottages for a spa resort in West Virginia. To meet the project requirements the client directed that the structures be constructed out of prefabricated modular units. This was something largely unfamiliar to the architect, who until then had designed buildings assembled in the field, not a factory.

Delving into the subject to learn more, Rattner found himself exposed to a rich universe of new concepts, from flexible design to computer-aided-manufacturing to mass customization. In exploring these subjects Rattner broadened his interest to include the other fine arts as well as product design. Soon he discovered the world was filled with many outstanding works of art and design embracing the new tenets of modularity, flexible design and personal creativity. He also observed there was no central marketplace bringing these pieces together. MODULE R was founded to fill that void.

Rattner launched the venture with a pop-up store on Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue in late 2011, which ran for about six months. During that time he opened up his first webstore, and then in late 2012 he opened another store a few blocks away, which ran until March 2014, when MODULE R became an entirely online enterprise.


MODULE R proudly supports local schools and non-profit organizations, including:

Public School 8, Brookyn Heights
Public School 29, Cobble Hill
The Packer Collegiate Institute, Brooklyn Heights
Plymouth Church School, Brooklyn Heights
Brooklyn Public Library
Grace and Spiritus Chorale of Brooklyn
Museum of Arts and Design, New York