Projects: Collections

Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje

Rough and Ready

The Rough and Ready collection comprises of furniture which reflects urban situations. It is made from materials which have been salvaged or are common place and cheap. The pieces, as their title suggests, appear rough and ready. They have a sense of incompleteness, a feeling that things might change. They are utilitarian works, which acknowledge the beauty of imperfection and offers an alternative to slick objects.

A chair for example can be made from found wood, a blanket and some string, tape or wire. It is made available through free drawings with building instructions, much like a DIY kit. The person who wishes to build a chair does so by collecting the materials and forming the components in accordance with the drawing. Constructions are basic, this makes it possible for everyone to build their own.

I see this as something very positive, offering people the information to make their own things themselves, instead of automatically buying something made. It is about offering awareness of choice. Providing information instead of stuff. Homemade instead of factory produced. To date about 30,000 drawings have been distributed for free. Although I can not guess how many people have made chairs, I think I can say that in a sense the chair has become a mass-produced item. Each one manufactured locally, with local materials, skills and hopefully each one with its own personal interpretation.

Wood, tape, plastic, blanket, straps, wood, fluorescent, cement board

1998  •  Studio Tord Boontje

Download the Rough and Ready Chair building instructions

Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje
Rough and Ready, Collections, Studio Tord Boontje

From top: photography by Annabel Elston, Studio Tord Boontje, Annabel Elston, Tate Modern, Annabel Elston and the rest Studio Tord Boontje.