How do we live better? MODU impacts people by linking the future of living to the social and environmental fabric of our cities

It Is Human Nature to Act Collectively

Collectives of all sizes form when we act together. MODU forges connections between people and with nature(s). Our idea of a new sustainability redraws physical boundaries, creating engaging environments while reducing energy use. Often designed through the medium of weather, our work links individuals to collectives and communities to cities while adapting to a changing climate.      

Design for a Common Good, Create Common Assets

Every city has countless sites that have not reached their full potential. They may be underutilized, partially occupied, or simply vacant; together they represent a wealth of untapped opportunities. MODU maximizes value with cost-effective designs, revitalizing properties and transforming them into exciting, healthy places. Whether through new construction, adaptive reuse, or renovation, our work transforms the daily experience of the city.

Collaborative Thinking for Design Impact

MODU directs a community of curious, creative minds in a think tank that intersects culture and industry with technology and the environment. Our collaborative approach and shared cultures strengthen design solutions with innovations from the sciences, social sciences, technology, and art. This unique range of expertise helps us address the multiple roles design has in society, mobilizing our research on the future of work and living.


Phu Hoang, AIA, FAAR
Phu Hoang, Founding Director and studio Alchemist, leads MODU as an architect with extensive national and international design experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University in New York. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania. Before starting his first solo practice in 2006, he worked for prominent architecture practices in London and New York. Hoang is a licensed architect in the states of New York and Connecticut and a fellow of the American Academy in Rome.

Rachely Rotem, LEED AP, FAAR
Rachely Rotem, Founding Director and studio Futurist, leads MODU with years of experience designing many project types. Rachely holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree (Cum Laude) from Technion in Haifa and a Master in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University, where she was awarded both the Lowenfish Prize and the William Kinne Fellows Prize. She currently teaches graduate-level studios at MIT, and has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Pratt Institute, and the University of Pennsylvania. She previously worked for notable architecture practices in Tel Aviv and New York. Rotem is a licensed architect in Israel, a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction, and a fellow of the American Academy in Rome.


MODU is honored to be recognized by domestic and international institutions, with awards from the American Academy in Rome, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Institute of Architects, the Architectural League of New York, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

US-Japan Creative Artists Program, National Endowment for the Arts (2017) Founders Rome Prize in Architecture, American Academy in Rome (2016)
10 Best Architecture Startups in 2016, Archipreneur (2016)
New Practices New York Award, American Institute of Architects NY (2016)
Urban Shade Competition, Design Museum Holon (2014) 5th China Intl. Architecture Biennial, Beijing Olympic Park Committee (2013) Marfa Dialogues New York, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (2013) Dumbo Arts Festival (Selected), Two Trees Management Company (2013) 21 for 21 Award (Commendation), World Architecture News (2013) Lexus Design Award (Finalist), Lexus (2012) NYSCA Grant, New York State Council on the Arts (2012) Interior Design Best of Year Award (Honoree), Interior Design (2011)
Core77 Design Award, Core77 (2011)
Barge 2011 Competition, SHIFTboston (2011) Oceanfront Competition, Art Basel Miami Beach and Creative Time (2010)
Open Fort 400 Competition (with Stereo Architects), NAi (2009)
Architectural League Prize (Phu Hoang), Architectural League of NY (2009)
Catch the Light Competition (Rachely Rotem and others), Athens Olympic Committee (2004)

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