Louise Brigham and the Early History of Sustainable Furniture Design

  • Antoinette LaFarge

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 1-11
  3. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 13-24
  4. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 25-48
  5. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 49-65
  6. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 67-75
  7. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 77-83
  8. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 85-90
  9. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 91-98
  10. Antoinette LaFarge
    Pages 99-112
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 113-131

About this book


During the Progressive Era, a time when the field of design was dominated almost entirely by men, a largely forgotten activist and teacher named Louise Brigham became a pioneer of sustainable furniture design. With her ingenious system for building inexpensive but sturdy “box furniture” out of recycled materials, she aimed to bring good design to the urban working class. As Antoinette LaFarge shows, Brigham forged a singular career for herself that embraced working in the American and European settlement movements, publishing a book of box furniture designs, running carpentry workshops in New York, and founding a company that offered some of the earliest ready-to-assemble furniture in the United States. Her work was a resounding critique of capitalism’s waste and an assertion of new values in design—values that stand at the heart of today’s open and green design movements.


Design History Progressive Era history Furniture design DIY movement Green design movement IKEA modular furniture mid-century modern design Arts and Crafts Movement recycled furniture Home Thrift Association

Authors and affiliations

  • Antoinette LaFarge
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, IrvineIrvineUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages History
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-32340-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-32341-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site