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BY MARK FRAUENFELDER

Make Like Picasso

Recently I came across a quotation about making things, attributed to Pablo Picasso. I found it in a wonderful, hand-lettered how-to book from 1973 called Nomadic Furniture 1: How to Build and Where to Buy Lightweight Furniture That Folds, Inflates, Knocks Down, Stacks, or Is Disposable and Can be Recycled, by James Hennessey and Victor Papanek.

Here’s what Picasso said: “When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when the others make it after you.”

Picasso was right, and the authors of Nomadic Furniture ...

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