Nomadic Furniture gives instructions on how to build lightweight furniture that folds, knocks down, stacks or is disposable and can be recycled. Despite the hippy-ish hand-drawn illustrations, this book offers some interesting and rather modern furniture designs. Design Within Reach isn't exactly within mine, but if I can diy my own reasonable facsimile, I'm pretty happy.Link
Reader comment: Jim says:
The Nomadic Furniture book was by Victor Papenek, an architect and designer that headed the School of Design at the Kansas City Art Institute just prior to my time there (he moved a few miles west to chair the department of architecture at the University of Kanasas in Lawrence).
Papanek was an amazing visionary designer, who saw the importance of designing for the real world and real human needs long before the rest of the design world began to get it. He introduced a set of values into design that are only now beginning to see wider interest and adoption.
An excellent book to read is his 1995 book, The Green Imperative: Natural Design For The Real World. In one of my favorite chapters, he talks about the design and adaptive genius of the Inuit people of the Arctic, describing many of their ingenious inventions, such as floating tactile coastline maps and goggles which utilized a slit to cut down on snowblinding glare.
I just wanted to point out that Papanek was a true revolutionary genius in the design world.