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Emilie Appercé on Box Furniture
7 July, 2023
I spotted a similar pocket DIY book, written nearly 40 years before the Berta Rahm one at the exhibition Here We Are! Frauen im Design 1900 at Vitra Design Museum.
A pioneering champion of DIY, Louise Brigham designed simple pieces of furniture built from standard wooden packing crates. Her how-to manual Box Furniture was published in 1909 –long before Gerrit Rietveld in the 1939s and Enzo Mari in the 1970s brought design status to DIY. Brigham’s book went through several editions and was translated into many languages. Based on its success she established the Home Thrift Association in New York. In the first few years of its existence, more than six hundred young people learned how to build box furniture there. A complete suite of box furniture cost no more than four dollars – half an average weekly wage in those days.