The Autoprogrettazione (roughly translating to 'self-design') manual was created by Italian designer Enzo Mari in 1974 as a backlash against the disconnection with making brought about by the advent of industrialised furniture production in Italy. This 'democratic design' project aimed to guide non-designers in producing easy-to-assemble furniture using easily obtainable material and tools, limited to standardised timber, a saw, hammer and nails.

During the opening of the exhibition Autoprogettazione Revisited at the Architecture Association a table with standardised food elements (walnuts, dates, figs, pommegrante, ham, cheese, bread) was set up. With no systematic guidelines or diagrams the public freely assemble the elements in palm-scaled hors d’oeuvres, each piece experimenting with taste as much as with form. The adhoc and whimsical compositions were then photographed, documented and instantly printed as a reference for future re-creation.

Above: Fig and String, by Enzo Mari
Autoprogettazione Revisited
Architecture Association, London 2009
In collaboration with Clemence Seilles