Bookshelf: Nomadic Furniture, by Hennessey and Papanek (1973)

The average person in America will move 11.3 times in their life, and spend around $6,000 furnishing their apartment. While this is not exactly a problem in-and-of-itself, this money can add up, and moving bulky and heavy furniture across town can be inconvenient, let alone across state, or international lines.

But what’s the alternative? James Hennessey and Victor Papanek’s 1973 book, Nomadic Furniture, was an attempt to answer this: easy to make furniture constructed from cheap, everyday items, with an emphasis on light weight or collapsible structures.

“No book like this has ever been put together before. So much is missing. Some of our ideas are really new, some from cultures that are thousands of years old, still others come from such eminent sources as “True Mechanics,” “Real Shop Illustrated,” any other such journals devoted to men attempting to convert living plywood into a pump-handle lamp, or to build a better knick-knack-nook. The real value of this book is that it will enable all of us nomads to have more by owning less”