Sedia 1 - Chair by Enzo Mari for Artek


Milan 2010: a self-assembly chair designed in 1974 by Italian designer Enzo Mari has been put into production by Finnish furniture brand Artek.

Customers purchase pre-cut pine boards, nails and instructions and construct the chair themselves using just a hammer.

The chair is part of Mari's 1974 project called Autoprogettazione, a collection of furniture to be made from the most basic and affordable materials.

Sedia 1 - Chair can be seen on the Artek stand at Spazio Rosana Orlandi in Milan this week.

Artek have also produced a short documentary called Enzo Mari for Artek: Homage to Autoprogettazione, premiered yesterday at La Triennale di Milano design museum.

See all our stories about Milan 2010 in our special category.

Here's more info from Artek:

Enzo Mari for Artek: SEDIA 1 – Chair Homage to Autoprogettazione

Sedia 1 – Chair is the first object from the famous and thought-provoking project “Autoprogettazione” (1974) to go into production with Artek.

In line with the original idea of the project, customers will purchase a set of pre cut pinewood boards, nails and instructions for the chair. ”Design is always education,” sums up Mari.

Artek has also produced a 20-minute documentary “Enzo Mari for Artek: Homage to Autoprogettazione” in which Mari explains the idea behind the concept. The film will receive its world premiere at the Triennale Museum during Abitare Talks on Wednesday, April 14, at 6 pm, in the presence of Enzo Mari.

Enzo Mari is a designer, thinker and provocateur. Determined to develop mass-produced objects without compromising his belief that the outcome should always be beautiful to look at and feel while being functional.

Mari developed “16 Animali” (Danese, 1957), “3087 Vase” (Danese, 1969), the chairs “Sof Sof” and “Box” (Driade, 1971 and Castelli, 1975) and “Smith & Smith” kitchen tools (Zani & Zani, 1987). These are just some of his more than 2000 projects that have marked design history.

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Posted on Friday April 16th 2010 at 7:22 am by Brad Turner. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • lior

    simple but with a lot of character! i like the way its built bc it give the client the feeling they built it themselves…which adds more persoanl connection to the chair.

  • Flo

    Thank you Father.

  • yo

    Fuck the chair in itself!the driving idea is that each one of us could build it’s own furniture without having to rely on exterior producers,work then waste money on that,and most of all enchaining the mechanics of consumerism just as to satisfy our needs for new shapes and colours.
    Thank you Father for showing us the way.

  • BRian


  • bravo maestro.

  • purple

    He’s God.

  • M

    as much as it is a fascinating article, we have these chairs in the cafe at the AA, and they are crap! too heavy, sharp edges, and really uncomfortable. this is a perfect example of what a chair should not be. I’d rather spend an extra £10 and get something that doesn’t erode my clothes and give me back pain.

  • c

    yes, as much as like them aesthetically in the AA bar, i’ve realized how bad they actually are, i guess it makes sort of sense to build one if you have some spare time and wood but to buy it would be pretty stupid, plus it basically contradicts the whole idea of the autoprogettazione

  • BRAVO!

  • WillM

    really… are people actually praising this chair?
    silly sometimes. Poorly crafted becomes “rustic” when posted by a design blog.

    If Artek were to ship out this same set of dimensioned wood and nails/screws to elementary schools across the world you would come up with similar if not better designs.
    I am typically one who sees good in everything… but this chair going into “production” irks me something awful. The chair is crappy looking… and worse; why is it assembled using nails?

    I don’t care if Jesus designed it- its crap!

    Moreso its embarrassing to see my peers honouring it.

  • Bozo

    Why do you need to involve a designer in this process.

  • 36 years old – still looking fresh. But one needs to do some hammer training before self assembling it. Saw & sat it at rossanna orlandi. WORKS!

  • sp

    I was thinking about including this chair in an exhibition about socially engaged craft. Just went on the Artek website to see how much it was 175 euros. ..I personally much prefer Max Lamb’s DIY chair from a couple of years back, £10 for all the parts and fixtures. I may choose to display both chairs next to each other in the exhibition.

  • carlos casimiro costa – ccc

    in fact Mari is our father, a father that remind us where we belong and how we should make design, please don’t see this chair as a product form artek which cost 175€, but more as a special homage to a very special thinker, a designer and teacher…this is just a detail in remembering all that he represents, to memorize their interviews with Sotssass, to keep in mind his books and their classes, his aims and their capacity in being a coach for a recovered design(ers)…please read the global tools project, the Autoprogettazion from 1974, Manifesto di Barcelona, the texts from Argan and Francesca Picchi about his works…

    if you want to be yourself and not being designed by others…read their democracy objects as fundamental signs where you should be inspired…

    with your tools I did follow…in your strength i see the path…

    Mari: For me a good designer is an old farmer who plants an oak wood, where he won’t
    be able to enjoy the shade but his grandchildren will

  • Juta

    Love Mari, Love this chair!

  • maker

    Ottima idea, ottimo concept, ma il prezzo è mostruoso! 300 euro!
    Rendiamo il progetto open source! maker all’opera!