A little less than two years ago, I submitted my first manuscript, Guerilla Furniture Design, to Storey Publishing. After six months of editing, we completed the photography and illustrations. I am now pleased to announce it is up for pre-sale on Amazon, and hits bookstores April 7th (barring shipping issues). During two-year process I have learned a great deal, moved halfway across the country, and worked to explore new methods of writing, research, and open source design. Instructables, the site that launched my writing career seven years ago, is now sponsoring a contest based on the book, with prize packs featuring furniture and posters designed by my (beautiful and brilliant) wife, Amanda Buck.
Amanda and I had the good fortune to hand-screen the posters at Baltimore Print Studios, run by our friends Kim and Kyle. BPS is a full-service letterpress and screen printing shop, offering workshops, press rental, and custom runs. The chipboard poster measures a healthy 18" x 24" and features one of my original reference drawings, overlaid with the design philosophy of the book: Honesty, Utility, Economy, Beauty. The typeface, Gordo, was designed from scratch by Amanda. 19 signed black-and-white versions are available as prizes in the Instructables contest. The rest will be sold right here on the OG world wide web HQ.
The book itself is beautiful! Clocking in at 192 pages, it starts with some guerilla background, history, and design philosophy, then transitions into discussions of ergonomics and structural considerations. Four sections -- Paper, Plastic, Wood, Metal -- outline 35 projects in ascending order of difficulty and complication. Furniture designs run the gamut, from chairs to tables to storage, all built with nomadism and recessionary economics in mind. Building instructions are pitched to the beginner, but there's deeply researched information and design inspiration there for DIYers of any skill level. Three of the projects in the book -- making laminated bent cardboard panels, bending aluminum road signs, and building cantilever seating from cardboard -- are techniques you won't see anywhere else.
I built this book, and everything in it, with my own hands. Every piece of furniture is something I've lived with, tested, de-bugged, and sweated into something satisfactory. Only a handful of projects even approach $100 in materials, and most were made of alley-panned salvage and construction site debris. Most can be made with common hand tools, in improvised workshops, in less than a weekend. It is a synthesis of a dozen years of experimenting, 10 projects a year, with plenty of failures along the way. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it.
If you live in the Baltimore region, please join me for a book-release party with my good friends at the Station North Tool Library on Saturday, March 28th, from 7-10 PM. I will be there with a limited number of signed copies, a stack of posters for sale, a few original prototypes for the book on display, and abundant local brews.