Identify vaguely scandanavian furniture design/DIY book
October 9, 2016 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to identify -- and then buy, in the UK -- a book about furniture design that was loaned to a friend of mine a while ago. Sketchy memories of details inside...

It's a book of handmade / DIY furniture designs, with a minimalist / Scandinavian-inspired / post-hippie-ish aesthetic. Lots of the pieces -- and the joints or structures on which they rely -- seemed unusual or clever. They were presented in the book with very little ornamentation or finish.

Most of it is hand-drawn line drawings and handwritten notes / measurements, although there are also black-and-white photos, and typewritten text. The format was along the lines of showing a piece or two (diagrams and/or photos) with some accompanying text, and showing the key joints/measurements that made it work. It had measurements, and was obviously intended to allow readers to build their own versions, but was not a step-by-step DIY book. It covered a wide range of home furnishings (tables, chairs, bunk beds, storage units, etc etc), but all in a fairly similar, obviously home made style.

It was in English, but I think at least one of the authors were from a non-English speaking European country; I'm not sure whether it was in translation. The book presented these designs as being part of a contemporary (if niche) movement/aesthetic, but I think the book was already out of print when I saw it about 8 years ago. At the very limits of tenuously useful information, it was a soft cover book, A4-ish size, had a blueish cover, and I saw a copy on UK Amazon for about £30 five years ago, but didn't buy it because I'm an idiot.

Go on hivemind, impress me!
posted by metaBugs to Writing & Language (6 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: It might be Nomadic Furniture by Papernek and Hennessey. if it is not that, then this is an AWESOME BOOK. 10/10 highly recommended, I love it. Plus there is a 2008 reprint which combines both of the original volumes together.
posted by Dr Ew at 11:36 AM on October 9, 2016 [3 favorites]

Or (if its a blue cover) could it be one of these:
"How To Build Modern Furniture" by Mario Dal Fabbro, McGraw-Hill, 1957
"Making Modern Danish Furniture" by Rolf Schutle, 1973
posted by Dr Ew at 12:03 PM on October 9, 2016

Best answer: I saw on Amazon that there's Nomadic Furniture 3.0 coming out on December 16.
posted by ShooBoo at 12:15 PM on October 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes! It's Nomadic Furniture, and I'm frankly astonished that you got it from my description. Thanks so much, this has been driving me crazy for days!
posted by metaBugs at 12:35 PM on October 9, 2016

Best answer: Make sure you also buy a used copy of Nomadic Furniture II, which is just as awesome. If you sew, there's a series of great clothing-oriented books that share Nomadic Furniture's style and ideology, hand drawings and all. I LOVE 70s diy craft books. PM me if you want the names (I will have to hunt through my library).
posted by ElectricGoat at 3:43 PM on October 9, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: MetaBugs - Glad to help. Your first line of description was enough!
Here is James Hennessey lecturering about the book. (At the intersection of UK/Juggling/Kites/Hackspaces/Making/Metafilter - we have friends in common!)

ShooBoo - thanks for the heads up, lets hope it lives up the the quality of 1 and 2.
posted by Dr Ew at 2:59 PM on October 10, 2016

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