DIY guide for the theoretical mind: Enzo Mari’s ‘autoprogettazione?’

This month Pro-QM bookshop in Mitte has recommended us this throwback do-it yourself guide to furniture-making by the influential Italian designer Enzo Mari (born 1932). The book is a project from 1974 for making easy-to-assemble furniture using rough boards and nails. An elementary technique to teach anyone to look at  present production with a critical eye. In other words, anyone can make them!

”… Mari is right, everybody has to project: actually this is the only way to avoid to be projected” G. C. Argan, 1974

‘Autoprogettazione?’ (roughly translated as self-designed) approaches design from a theoretical and experimental perspective, analysing it as a system of communication and questioning it’s role in contemporary society and the relationship to it’s users. In his career Mari worked amongst others with Danese, Driade, Olivetti, Muji, Zanotta, published numerous books, including children’s “books without words”, designed puzzles – for example the adorable Fable Game – founded a new artistic movement, “Nuova Tendenza”, and teached at the Scuola Umanitaria in Milan.

Available now at Pro QM





Edizioni Corraini 2002

(Original from 1974)