modulumi is an ongoing self-directed study into modular construction and industrial design.

The modulumi system is the first product of this exploration. It takes advantage of the strength and versatility of building with origami, or more specifically, kirigami modules.* It’s a tool that makes playing with flexible polyhedra models easy and accessible.

It’s a toy I made for myself, and I hope you enjoy it as well. 😁

modulumi is proudly designed and produced in America. Every set is handmade and inspected with care in my Chicago and Atlanta based studios.

why modular?

There is something special about the elemental nature of building with identical units. When you break things down to their essence, you realize that we are all made of an assembly of tiny little modules. Whether we’re talking about cells, molecules, atoms, or vibrations, it’s evident that the building blocks of our universe are modular in nature. And that nature itself is modular. That idea has always fascinated me.

about me

I’m a self-thought designer with a background in making, problem solving, and some small experience in entrepreneurship. I have a business degree from Kennesaw State University, GA, where I helped start a small education company with a few of my classmates. That company is called iSchool Initiative, and its programs empower students across the US through real-life leadership opportunities. Working with teachers and students is incredibly gratifying. It has also crystalized the importance of being a life-long learner. So after eight years with the company I decided to move on to a new challenge. I’ve always loved working with my hands, tinkering, and making things, and I’ve found that it helps me deal with anxiety. I acquired some skills and experience through a series of smaller projects. Every project began with a question, and by the end of the project (or usually sooner) I found myself asking a new question. Pulling that string has led me here. 

I developed the modulumi system with the feedback and support of my cousin Slav Tringov, my father Usta* Peter Kolev, and my mother Galina Koleva. Slav is a world class artist and designer, and his work can be found at Usta Peter is a master craftsman and tool maker, and his work can be seen in the Marvel saga films (the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant Man, etc.). He produced many of the studio sets and props you see in these films, including Thor’s Axe, Stormbreaker! Last, but not least, my mother provides all the love and support that makes everything possible. She has encouraged me every step of the way.

modulumi exists in large part thanks to these people. Thank you. ❤️🙏

Nikola Petrov Kolev

*kirigami is a form of origami which includes cutting the paper as well as folding, whereas origami is traditionally made by folding a single square sheet of paper.

*Usta is an old Turkish term as title for the expert craftsman. A master engineer/builder skilled in all manner of materials, processes, and techniques.