July 13, 2006

Now on Flickr: DIY Hippie Furniture, Cardboard Carseat


Alright, I am officially lookin' for fun and feelin' groovy. My copies of Mario Dal Fabbro's 1968 How to Make Children's Furniture and Play Equipment and Hennessey & Papanek's 1973 Nomadic Furniture arrived, and suddenly I feel like we should all be hittin' the road and building our own furniture and stickin' it to The Man and whatnot.

Of course, I'll probably never build a thing, just sit back in my cardboard easy chair and fantasize about driving crosscountry in my VW Campervan outfitted with a woodworking shop, making my own waterbeds, and leaving them in my wake, like a Saturday Generation Johnny Appleseed. Moving them'll be the landlord's problem, man, not mine...

But anyway...

Dal Fabbro's book is hardcore practical, and his no-nonsense designs are utilitarian modernist almost to a fault, but there's still great stuff. A standout is this pre-Tetris-era modular shelf:


Nomadic Furniture is actually a compendium of products and peoples' innovations, brought together by Hennessey and Vic Papanek. There's corrugated cardboard furniture from a promising young architect named "Frank Gehry," a new sleeping bag called "The North Face," and some modular designs of repurposed materials by a company called H.U.D.D.L.E., founded by a Los Angeles couple, Penny and Jim Hull: "One of the most exciting concepts of the Hulls' line, is the idea that furniture should be available in various stages of completion." Thus, they sold Toobs [below] as both finished products and as materials cut to length. I guess mod modular didn't cut it, though; H.U.D.D.L.E. is now Huddle, a totally conventional baby furniture store in Scottsdale.


As for this kid whose parents put him in that cardboard car seat, he is now a Republican and is running for Congress in San Diego. The box, by the way, is from Rubbermaid, the conglomerate which owns Graco. Looks like The Man wins out in the end.

Check out some more scans on flickr [daddytypes on flickr].
Previously: Nomadic Furniture 2 ; Dal Fabbro goes wild on eBay


You DO know there's a Nomadic Furniture II, right?

Also, Victor wrote a very insigtful book, "Design For The Real World".

You can see where Nomadic Furniture came from, via this book.

[yep, I actually linked to that one first, while I was waiting for vol. 1 to arrive. -ed.]


I remember building a desk from a plan found in vol. 1 of Nomadic Furniture during my college days -- many many moons ago!

Of course, I still have the desk and recently a friend inquired about the plans which I don't have.

Any chance you can post that page? The desk is made out of a single sheet (4x8) of plywood.

Would appreciate any help.

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