Design your own Autoprogettazione

In the second part of the Project 1, we challenged students to create their own design for a piece of furniture in dialogue with Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione. They had to draw it, model it, build it and critique it.

Autoprogettazione is, in simple terms, “a project for making easy-to-assemble furniture using rough boards and nails.” Yours should be the same. Mari designed cupboards, tables, chairs, bed frames and drafting tables. What will you design and why? Will you extend Mari’s vision of a furniture building as a pedagogical project? Or explore other opportunities for self-production and design, like Ken Isaacs utopian How to Build Your Own Living Structures?

When thinking about your design, limit yourself to inexpensive lumber available at Home Depot. Other materials available at the Depot are admissible as well, but dimensional lumber should be the foundation of your project. Remember, utilize simple means to great effect. Every material is contemporary, especially the cheap ones.

You can see all the projects the students created here or check out a selection below.

Backpack chair by Katherine Paseman. A chair to comfortably accommodate you and your bags.

Cardboard origami chair by Annie Zhang. A flat-pack lounge chair that folds from a sheet of chipboard.

Mosaic Stool by Yunyi Zhu. Lumber transformed into a fluid conforming seat.


Interactive Play Table by Richard Huizar. Lumber becomes interactive voxels in this coffee table.


Brainstorming chair by Diana Lamaute. A chair padded by your rejected ideas.


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