enzo mari’s autoprogettazione for diy furniture designs

Autoprogettazione Bed #2 by Justin Beal is made of pine, cloth mattress, beet juice

justin beal

Autoprogettazione, roughly translated “self design,” was a project and book by the modernist artist and designer Enzo Mari that gives instructions for building easy-to-assemble furniture — tables, chairs, bookshelves, wardrobe  — using rough boards and nails. Originally published in 1974, it has been reprinted many times. Mari created the project because he thought

…if people were encouraged to build a table with their own hands…they would be able to understand the thinking behind it.

And if they understand the thinking behind it, just imagine what they could do…

Just leafing through Autoprogettazione makes us feel empowered to pick up a hammer. And we can’t help but think the rough boards Mari envisioned his readers using resemble  — indeed could be culled from — the wood from shipping pallets.

Taking Mari’s basic approach and inspiration, many artist’s and designers have made their own iterations. We love Justin Beal‘s bed with a fab hot pink mattress, above.  And we WANT Kueng Caputo’s Lampada lamp:

Kueng Caputo's autoprogettazione inspired Lampada

kueng caputo’s lampada

…Graham Hudson’s Mari-esque hack of an old chair makes for a wonderful clash of styles we hadn’t thought of. (You’ll find Mari-like plans for the lamp and other works in the spirit of Autoprogettazione in this PDF.)

Graham Hudson's autoprogettazione-inspired design

…Meanwhile, we’re smitten by this Mari-designed table, whose plans are in Autoprogettazione.

autoprogettazione table made of plywood


…We could pretty much imagine making anything from the book at home…


A page from Enzo Mari's Autoprogettazione

Finnish furniture brand Artek has started production on Enzo Mari's self-assembly autoprogettazione chairs

Autoprogettazione is available here.

Enzo Mari's autoprogettazione


photos courtesy Artist Pension Trust, S O L E X X, Motto Distribution, dezeen, Wallpaper* Magazine

Related posts: bang out a chair! (marjin van der poll’s do hit chair)
diy strapped-together dowel tables
d-i-y wooden furniture: just paint the cut ends
shipping pallet loungers, for inside and out
d-i-y stylish stools made of random wood scraps

3 Responses to enzo mari’s autoprogettazione for diy furniture designs

  1. CharlieH 04.27.2013 at 11:27am #

    These are really unique designs. Very interesting.

  2. Mak 02.27.2019 at 9:16am #

    Hey, the PDF is not linked well. I would apprechiate it a lot if you could you reupload it or send it directly to my email, please. Thank you in advance!

  3. Sally Schneider 02.27.2019 at 10:17am #

    Thanks for alerting me. The links are updated now.

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