Read Nomadic Furniture by James Hennessey Victor Papanek Online


A great book on making nomadic furniture...

Title : Nomadic Furniture
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780394702285
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 149 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Nomadic Furniture Reviews

  • trivialchemy
    2019-06-18 02:42

    Cost of 24 linear feet of 1x12 prime cut pine:$41.68Cost of 10 cinder blocks:$13.40Cost of New American stain, 60 grit and 150 grit sandpaper:about $10.00Value in being able to use the phrase "retro-industrial chic" antecedent to banging some half-inbred North Texas hussy on my kitchen floor:vanishing, but non-zero.This set of shelves I built last week:was originally of my own design, but in the course of investigating various options for my design's specifics, I discovered this book: Nomadic Furniture. The book is not quite what I expected, nor exactly what the description would lead you to believe, but more about that in a moment. First let's talk about my bookshelves.I am currently highly nomadic, and have been for the past half-dozen years at least. On average, I move at least once a year. As a partial consequence, I do not desire more possessions than can fit in the back of my half-ton pickup. This limits the amount of furniture I can own to almost zero. Compounding this problem is that I own about 300 books, a large proportion of which are gargantuan textbooks. And so my "library" (the entirety of which is not pictured above) fills very nearly half my truck bed on its own. As a result, I am constantly looking for creative ways to store, transport and display my books. I used to just buy and sell bookshelves everywhere I went, but that gets expensive and onerous quickly. These shelves were a stroke of brilliance.The wood portion of the shelves is a permanent possession. I took some care in their fabrication. The cinder blocks on the other hand, which are dirt cheap, are completely disposable. Between all my shelves, I now have a mere eight (and lightweight) pine boards which require transport from domicile to domicile. At each new residence, I simply buy new cinderblocks (less than $15), and rebuild the shelves. Fucking cool, right? And I know I'm biased, but I think they look great: speaking compared to my already spartan and industrial aesthetic, of course. I was hoping that Nomadic Furniture would have more creative ideas in this same vein: cheap, attractive, and highly mobile options for someone with some woodworking skill and an eye for design. While such ideas definitely exist in this book (I gave it four stars, after all), they were in my opinion sparsely distributed. Elsewhere, the designs ranged from the fancifully impractical (couches built entirely out of cardboard?) to the outright commercial. In the latter case, the book dated itself, as there were many references to current places where you could buy (not build) contemporary Danish and Norwegian furniture pieces. I definitely didn't buy this book as an ersatz IKEA catalog for companies from the 1970s. So those instances were disappointing.However, it's still a very cool book, for the hobbyist carpenters and nomads out there. And even in the outrageous designs, there are key ideas that you can modify for your own creative uses. For example, this is one project that appears in the book:I think this is a little ridiculous. I'm not sure I know anyone over the age of 10 who would actually want a room built up like this. (Perhaps these flights of fancy are just another way the book is dated and silly room themes were common in the 70s?). But if you look closely, there is a pretty cool idea in there. The angular cross-members (probably 4x4s or 4x8s) could be placed along the walls in practically any room, without permanently altering the existing structure.You could then string a hammock, or construct a set of cabinets, in the unused space above your head in any room. All without modifying the original frame or having to build freestanding load-bearing structure. Pretty cool!I guess in that sense, the authors' admonitions "Make it Better!" rings true; and the book is worth thumbing through on that principle alone.

  • jess
    2019-05-21 07:37

    This book was published in the 1970s and whoa-doggie does it show. Printed in the classical "handwriting" typeface of so many macrobiotic cook books and "build your own hot tub" books I've seen from the same era, this book manages to impart a sense of a lifestyle that, while fleeting, appears to be circling back into popular consciousness. The furniture in this book is designed to assist proper geometric alignment of the human form, to be stylish or at least to make an aesthetic statement, and to promote the life of one who is on the move, or at least someone who requires that their furniture be ready to pack up at a moment's notice. Some of the ideas are completely insane. The cardboard car seat in the section for children, for example, meets approximately 0% of modern safety requirements, and the "bubble lamp" made from "used styrofoam cups" is the sort of thing that haunts my nightmares. But some of them are quite good - the boxes with lids that can be used as packing crates, and then re-assembled into a stylish ladder-style bookshelf.Most of the projects don't include specific instructions, tools, specifications, measurements, or anything else that would hinder the creator. They are ideas, not entirely hatched or ready to be executed, but I feel like they are a jumping off point for a better world. While I love drooling over fancy furniture, vintage and designer and whathaveyou, there is something magical in something you make with your own hands and then serve dinner on, store your records in, or sleep on. I'm not the most handy person, so I probably won't make any of these projects, but it gives me ideas as I help design and execute various custom furniture projects around the house. Point of interest: one concept I have been long interested in is "the cube" -- a mobile piece of furniture that rotates, expands, retracts, compacts, transforms into various types of living space so that you can have cozy and multifunctional rooms in a large, otherwise unfinished space. Examples here and here). There are pages and pages dedicated to this idea in Nomadic Furniture. Entertainment cube. Children's cube. Relaxation cube, etc.

  • Travis Johns
    2019-06-17 07:52

    40 years later, post-apocalypitic furniture suggestions are featured products at IKEA and other large-box container, nightmare meatball dispensaries. Arguably, the best part is when they talk about how the sleeping bag made by the North Face, a small company out of Berkeley, Ca. is the best one on the market... uhmm... I guess this is what you get when you find a stack of 40 year old architecture books on the street.

  • Katie
    2019-06-17 04:48

    I adored this book when I first read it - which was shortly after it was published. Re-reading it today, it is half IKEA catalogue, and half a trip down memory lane. And very hippy-dippy in the mold of "Whole Earth Catalog".Still, there are good ideas in this book, mostly about ergonomic and ecologic design on what we'd now talk about as reducing one's environmental foot print.

  • Bonnie
    2019-05-28 10:33

    This book was an interesting time capsule. Some ideas that are obviously precursors of IKEA, some that are are just wacky. I don't think the homemade cardboard carseat will work in the 21st century...

  • Nilla
    2019-05-19 08:44

    It's good, but not exactly what I hoped for. I thought this used more recycled material that required less of needing to have a workshop.

  • Lee Ann
    2019-05-27 06:42

    Many of the ideas in this book are dated now. That makes it even more run to flip through the pages! Need a table for your High Fidelity record and cassette player? They've got you covered. I've had many discussions with friends about the child's car seat made entirely of cardboard, too.So what I'm saying is that it is best read for general ideas on how to DIY furniture that is functional, greener, and portable, but not all designed should be taken literally or actually built.Great book for brainstorming!

  • Kim Zinkowski
    2019-05-20 02:51

    A. Great projects.

  • Arlian
    2019-06-13 07:35

    2.5 stars.This book is extraordinarily dated. A large portion of the projects are built using PVC or Cardboard (or both), and encourages the use of things like waterbeds (HAHAHAHAHAH) or beanbag chairs. It's weirdly like a magazine that someone published into a single book? It's not a book that has step-by-step instructions for specific projects, it just kinda throws a bunch of shit out there, including photos of more expensive designer stuff where basically all it says is "Oh, someone made this, it's x dollars, you could probably do it for less."Overall, it hasn't withstood the test of time at all. I recommend skipping this entirely.

  • George
    2019-06-13 02:54

    So glad to see that this has been recently re-issued. This version contains both volumes from the first printings. It's amusing to read the publisher's warning that since these books were first published laws about child seats have changed, so some of the designs may be dangerous or at least non-compliant with current standards. But, really great ideas and information to create living spaces, furniture, and such at minimum cost with recycled materials. Even more important and relevant these days.

  • Jien
    2019-05-30 03:28

    Some of the ideas were a bit bizarre and the writing is certainly quirky, however there are so many excellent and amazing concepts that this book is worth the read. A few things are indeed outdated, but the clarity of the illustrations and sheer creativity and innovation make this an excellent book for any artist, designer, DIY fan, or ecologically minded person to own.

  • Ray A
    2019-05-20 06:51

    A long-time favorite I first read in the early '80s. Definitely influenced my furniture preferences, and led me to attempt a few projects :-) Also their lettering style influenced my manual lettering style for technical drawings.

  • Jenae
    2019-05-27 06:42

    Are you a hippy? Are you an engineer (or an enthusiastic DIYer)? Then proceed with caution, because this book will be your kryptonite.

  • Beth
    2019-06-16 05:35

    I believe this book originally came out in '73. I had no idea it was reissued last year. I wanted it before, but was a little lazy about looking for it. Now I really want it.

  • Tikri /Letitia
    2019-05-19 06:26

    Thought provoking, some excellent ideas, some not-so.

  • Cyndi
    2019-06-16 05:40

    Some of the ideas in this book are obviously dated, but many can now be purchased at IKEA or similar.