Box Furniture

  • Antoinette LaFargeEmail author


This chapter offers a close analysis of Box Furniture, the book Progressive Era designer and social activist Louise Brigham published in 1909 about making furniture from recycled packing crates. It offers an overview of several overlapping aspects of Brigham’s book, including the aesthetics of box furniture, her foregrounding of multifunctional and modular design, and her commitment to a do-it-yourself approach to furniture making. Her aesthetic is analyzed in terms of how it reflects the values of contemporary design movements, especially Arts and Crafts and Josef Hoffmann’s Wiener Werkstätte, and there is an examination of her work with the designer Edward H. Aschermann, who illustrated the book. Finally, there is a discussion of how the book fits into a burgeoning marketplace of advice writing and how box furniture aligned with the contemporary values of thrift and hygiene often promulgated by advice writers.


Louise Brigham Box furniture Edward H. Aschermann Multifunctional furniture Modular furniture Advice writing 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

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