The idea of functional, plug-and-play tiles is itself not entirely new, but it is great to watch the evolution of such a design strategy through multiple multiple layers of a project, seeing how it evolves from a conceptual approach to a concrete reality.

Daniela Bekerman began with the classic white tile of familiar dimensions found within the back-splashes of many contemporary kitchen and bathroom spaces. She then began experimenting with everything from soap dishes to dish-drying racks, towel-hanging hooks and other modules that could fit within the system.

The problem, as always, is that some of these strategies rely on wall depth – a fact hidden at first glance. This requires not only more work than a typical do-it-yourself tile installation project would, but could pose problems for cleaning and retrofitting elements down the line.

Still, with all of the focus on this kind of modularity in prefab fixtures and fittings, one has to wonder why mainstream tile manufacturers have yet to capitalize on the trend – some are clearly more difficult from a technical standpoint to produce and install.

Nonetheless, many such concepts could be implemented with relative ease in existing frameworks as well as new constructions and remodels.