Posts tagged guerilla
The Nomadic Workshop

This winter, I built a large dining table out of reclaimed Douglas Fir. I started that adventure at the Station North Tool Library, milling the planks and gluing up the top. For the rest of the process, I moved the table to the massive, unheated basement of a semi-vacant building nearby. A friend of mine had a shop in there, so there were a few tools and the occasionally coffee, but it was definitely a guerilla setup.

Over the years, I've built furniture all over the place. Guerilla Furniture Design mentions some of these ad-hoc shops -- basements, driveways, garages, living rooms -- but didn't really get into nomadic workshop design. As my tool collection has expanded, it has become more unwieldy, outgrowing a collection of bags and store-bought solutions. Faced with a long-distance move, I decided to consolidate my stuff into four plastic break-pack totes. However, after months of projects and reshufflings, I ended up with five disorganized totes and a pile of homeless gear. 

Read More
Hairpinned Table

A few months ago, my cousin approached me about building a dining room table for her and her family. They had recently moved into a newly rehabbed house, just outside D.C. A spec builder took the top off a small sixties rancher on the edge of a steep site and expanded up. The main level has clean-lined built-ins, with great views of a wooded park and an open floor plan. They wanted a sleek form rendered in reclaimed material, similar to the Douglas Fir conference tables I made for Hattery a few years back. In order to match their other furniture, they also wanted to reference the mid-century aesthetic of Eames and Bertoia. 

I rarely take on jobs like this -- I don't have my own shop, and no longer work in a shop for my day job. However, this was a great opportunity to make an heirloom piece, for family,  at a scale at which I rarely get to work. I knew I could figure some guerilla solutions to my lack of facilities. 

Read More
Object Guerilla: The Book III

A little less than two years ago, I submitted my first manuscriptGuerilla 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. 

Read More

Enzo Mari is legend amongst furniture designers -- a cranky old radical, chewing over cigars and long Italian syllables as he lacerates the current state of design. Now 85, according to the Wikipedias, he is still best known for his 1974 book Autoprogettazione ?, a DIY instruction manual detailing 19 simple pieces of furniture. Setting out harsh constraints for himself, Mari used only common dimensional lumber fastened with nails, avoiding cuts, joinery, and finishes. The results are severe in form, stripped to an irreducible degree (much like the zip-tie). Pre-internet, Mari then released the designs as a simple, (initially free) book instead of as actual products, in the hope that folks would learn about carpentry, design, and the expression of quality through the process of building. 

Read More
Guerilla Road Trip, Part 1

Object Guerilla has been dark for a few weeks because I've been on the road. The lady and I undertook a twenty-day, 5,500 mile trip across the American West, visiting national parks, scenic wonders, artistic oddities, and architectural phenomena.  It was a guerilla trip, light and cheap. We spent very little, mostly on gas and food, couch-surfing, tent-camping, and AirBnB-ing to save cash. Upon our return to Chicago, we packed up and moved to Baltimore to pursue some new adventures in design and life.   

On July 6th, we struck out bright and early for St. Louis, arriving in mid-afternoon, time enough to see the Arch and downtown before supper. After the touristy bits were dispensed with, we met up with my ReBuild colleagues Dayna Kriz and Rae Chardonnay at Blair House in Hyde Park.

Read More