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