Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione Revisited, London

Enzo Mari’s Autoprogettazione
(Image credit: Enzo Mari)

Autoprogettazione (translated as self-made) is a concept, thought up by Italian design godfather Enzo Mari in the 1950s, of producing superior quality, functional furniture from ubiquitous materials in your own home.

Conceived in reaction to the glut of mass produced furniture around at the time, Mari formulated a free catalogue explaining in intricate detail how best to produce 19 pieces of furniture from scratch.

Originally he encouraged his followers to send in photos of the finished articles to his studio, and the latest exhibition to take residence in London’s Architectural Association pays homage to Mari’s autonomous take on his craft.

multiple chairs on display

(Image credit: Enzo Mari)

See more from when Mari revisited his Autoprogettazione concept with contemporary designers

Pulled together by furniture gallerist Philip Sharatt in collaboration with Mari himself, Autoprogettazione Revisted has invited a host of contemporary artists and designers to produce their own pieces of self-made furniture in adherence with Mari’s exacting agenda. 

With disjointed, hybrid work from the likes of sculptor Phyllida Barlow, furniture designerJoe Pipal, product designer Travis Broussard and artist Graham Hudson, the work traces Mari’s philosophical approach to design whilst exposing some exciting new takes on the form.

From Pipal’s indolent bookshelf, leaning up against a wall, to the heady range of chairs on show – including Ryan Gander’s take on Konstantin Grcic’s One Chair (featuring an Ikea foam pad and a flattened cardboard box) and Martino Gamper’s simple crate chair – each piece comes imbued with a sense of creative intimacy – an accolade of which Mari is undoubtedly proud.


Architectural Association
36 Bedford Square


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.