Nomadic Furniture Book, DIY Cardboard Chair

Nomadic Furniture Book

Nomadic Furniture by Hennessey and Papanek is a fantastic book. I’ve had it so long I can’t remember where I got it. I also have volume 2, and I believe I got that from Alibris. The first book came out in 1973, so it’s got that crunchy style DIY flavor, right down to the hand-written text in ALL CAPS, even the page numbers are hand-written.

From the cover: “How to build and where to buy lightweight furniture that folds, inflates, knocks down, or is disposable and can be recycled. — With many easy to follow illustrations.” I think that sums it up pretty well. Obviously, the shopping sources are pretty stale. But many of the ideas are timeless, a few even have the potential to be stylish. Maybe the most timeless, and practical, information included is in the section “On Human Measurement.” The authors list some ergonomic starting points for chairs, tables and more. Click any of three thumbnails that follow for much larger images.

If you’re itching to make your own nomadic DIY furniture check out this cardboard chair. If you’re feeling really creative maybe you can try to make it out of sheet metal, or a flexible plastic. That probably wouldn’t be consistent with the recycling and nomadic ethos of this book, but it might be badass. Click it to big it.

Nomadic Cardboard Chair

Let me know in the comments if you like this stuff and I’ll post more projects from these two books.

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Posted by Tracy Sigler, August 4, 2008 1:29 pm - Permalink   

6 responses to “Nomadic Furniture Book, DIY Cardboard Chair”

  1. yeah i do like this stuff!! that sounds totally cool!!

  2. Hi I am a teacher of Applied Art and Design and we are doing GCSE and A level Product Design work using cardboard. I really like the stuff youv’e put on your site and would love to see more. Do you know where I can get the book or can you send me any further pages particularly if there are other cardboard chairs, tables or sofas. Thanks alot


  3. Hey Dave, I have both Nomadic Furniture books and I remember getting one at Alibris.

    They have a lot of great out of print design books. I looked today and saw some more copies. Check it out.

    Thanks for the comments. I have a lot more stuff to add. Need to get on it.

  4. I built one of these chairs, and my best friend was surprised to find that it would safely support him.

    Bill was 6 foot tool, and 380 lbs of solid muscle.

    If his knees would have been in better shape, he would have been a professional athlete.

  5. Nice! Thanks for the comment Alain.

  6. I have always treasured this book but…. When you get into it you discover you will need a table saw, a drill press and some experience as well. Making some of the tables and/or chairs with a hand saw might be possible but very difficult. Also some of the projects never struck me as very portable: the towers, the butcher block table. Then too some designs call for circular pieces of plywood and unless you purchase them pre-cut how do you create those? After 40 years of experimenting I find myself with a lot of aluminum camping furniture actually.

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