I’ve decided that since I’m going to have time on my hands over the coming months that I need a project, something to do with my hands. I considered a few ideas, from knitting to pattern making but settled on woodwork, I haven’t built anything with my hands since I was 14 years old but I used to love messing around with hammers and saws and watching my grandfather work (He was a mechanic but also a talented hobbyist carpenter that used to build me and my siblings toys).
The next question was this: What could I build? I thought at first about self designing something simple but came to the conclusion that I should have at least some hands on experience before any attempts to design, then in a bit of serendipity I came across a project I had seen a few months earlier: Italian designer Enzo Mari’s “Autoprogettazione?” chair 'Sedia 1.'
I love Mari, a highly theoretical designer with an accomplished catalogue of work that ranges from children’s toys, minimalist ash trays, posters and of course furniture. Autoprogettazione? or ‘self design’ in English, was his 1974 book of 19 D.I.Y designs anchored in simplicity and affordability (off the shelf pine wood & nails are the only pre-requisites) created as a reaction to the loss of craftsmanship and skills during the era of mass produced furniture. Appropriate then for someone picking up the hammer for the first time in 10 yrs.
*Finnish company Artek made this great video of Enzo himself building the Sedia 1. from scratch.