Industrial design purports to offer efficient, elegant solutions to life’s problems in formats accessible to everyone — it’s the dream of changing the world through mass manufacturing. But how often does design actually accomplish that goal? With designers producing for luxury brands rather than the market at large, great design is certainly not available to everyone. Taking inspiration from the Bauhaus, a German architect has created a series of design-forward furniture pieces that absolutely anyone can own. They just have to make it themselves.
Creator Van Bo Le-Mentzel’s motto is “constructing instead of consuming,” following the Bauhaus’s dictum of serving basic functionality instead of luxury tastes. His Hartz IV Mobel series, named for the German social welfare system, is a series of publicly available designs for chairs, couches, and tables that might fit in at CB2 but cost one-hundredth of the price. The plans are available by email here, Le-Mentzel just asks that you document your process.
One such example is the 24 Euro Chair, which is just as cheap as its name suggests. The elegant reclining piece takes inspiration from iconic designs like Marcel Breuer’s Wassily Club Chair and Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Chair, but is simply made from a single pine board and assembled through interlocking joinery. The end result is classic yet still affordable.
Check out some of Le-Mentzel’s other DIY designs below.