phonebloks: a modular + customizable smartphone
phonebloks: a modular + customizable smartphone
sep 20, 2013

phonebloks: a modular + customizable smartphone

phonebloks: a modular + customizable smartphone
all images courtesy phonebloks




usually, a phone only lasts a couple of years before it breaks or becomes obsolete. although it’s often just one part that made it in-operable, we throw everything away because it’s almost impossible to repair or upgrade. in response to this, designer dave hakkens has developed the ‘phonebloks‘ concept. connected to a base which locks everything together into a solid mobile device, the entire customizable system is made of detachable ‘bloks’. if one breaks, users can easily replace it; if it’s getting old just upgrade. as a way to facilitate the modular system, a ‘blokstore’ has been set up to for easily acquiring new parts for the platform. the concept is like an app store for hardware. members can buy bloks, read reviews and sell old parts. you can also buy a pre-assembled phone or assemble it yourself by selecting the brands you want to support – the choice is yours. to learn more about the project see here.


update: after the positive reception he received for ‘phonebloks’, david hakkens was asked to participate in design indaba‘s 2014 pecha kucha program which invites top graduates from the world’s best design schools, to gather and give brief presentations of their work to an attentive audience. the 25-year-old creative who graduated cum laude from the design academy in eindhoven discussed his modular phone concept and the current progress of developing a prototype to present to like-minded partners for further maturation of the project. see the ‘phonebloks – the next step’ video below to see how the project is growing.



video courtesy of dave hakkens


the entire customizable system is made of detachable bloks

side and rear view




touch screen configuration

individual components

dave hakkens designboom
dave hakkens at design indaba 2014
portrait © designboom



the ‘phonebloks’ is a INDEX: design award 2015 finalist.


INDEX: design to improve life was created by denmark in 2002, with values and principles focusing on humanism, social understanding and democratic thinking. the nonprofit organization promotes the application of design and processes that improve vital areas of people’s lives worldwide by inspiring, educating and engaging.


  • The technology has advanced enough to make Phonebloks feasible. Most of the “Bloks” Dave has shown are already available in modules and can fit on small cards.

    For example, the storage and the wireless bloks can simply be designed as small as SD Cards and plugged into side openings.  I think the design will morph as or when it moves towards actual design and test.

    I am working on a similar product for tablets and PCs, please
    visit my Thunderclap and support my project.. Help me design a modular PC that
    brings our devices together, reduces e-waste and cost, and simplifies our

    Please visit for more information.

    Murat Erdogan says:

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