Utilitarian You

Utilitarian ‘recipes’, open-source knowledge and ingenuity. New and old design classics for a DIY home and life.

Cabin Spacey: Not a Tiny House

“Simon was really into House of Cards”, is how Andreas Rauch begins the story of the catchiest-named architecture start-up to come out of Berlin in recent years. Cabin Spacey is a prototype for a lightweight house that embraces the realities of urban living. Andreas talks us through the process of building your own city cabin for a future in which we own ever-less and share ever-more.

Swarm Traps: The Hive Mind

Australia is currently experiencing a golden age of backyard beekeeping. This is, arguably, one of the last golden ages of European honey bee (Apis mellifera) honey production – anywhere in the world. Nic Dowse of Honey Fingers, takes us through the importance of caring for our bee populations, the basics of backyard beekeeping, and how to build your own swarm trap.

Canine Contemporary: Architecture for Dogs

Kenya Hara doesn’t design ‘things’. His cerebral yet elegant work as the director of Hara Design Institute and Creative Director at MUJI, seeks to infuse a sense of identity and memory into design. One of Hara’s current projects is Architecture for Dogs, a travelling exhibition and online resource dedicated to the proliferation of novel, DIY architecture for man and woman’s best friend.

Timeless and puzzling: Enzo Mari

The design work of Enzo Mari, iconic Italian provocateur and octogenarian, is often described as elegant, minimal and functional. Grace McQuilten prefers to think of Mari’s work as puzzling, playful and human. Here she looks back at 'autoprogettazione', Mari's range of DIY furniture and a beguiling body of work that defies mass production and the march of time.

Year of Open Source

Multinationals, corporations, “the man”. Unless you live a hermetic existence, atop a mountain (in which case, you’re probably not reading this), you are no stranger to the world of Coca-Cola & copyright. Technology has made the world smaller, yet the gap between rich & poor, the proprietary & the free, is widening. Sam Muirhead is a filmmaker doing his best to live a freer, more "open source" life.

Project Microhouse: Or, How I Learned to Stop Shivering and Live Small

Have you ever made an inventory of all your possessions? Not just the big, expensive stuff, but everything. All your worldly possessions: socks, felt-tip pens, phone chargers, crockery, contraception – the lot. In the case of Alec Farmer, a 23 year-old Glaswegian, his list included three pairs of long johns, 93 books and two decommissioned parachutes.