Look at Enzo Mari, popping his chair back; aside from him being a stylish man of action there are a few things we can read in this photo: the first is that the chair is solid, he knows because he's just nailed it together himself, from plans he drew up and published in 1974. The second is that it undeniably feels good to build something. The third is that this feeling is accessible to all—he's 80 years old and still doing it. He is one of the great activist designers and in this time of gift giving, when we can do a little activating in our personal circles, isn't it worth proselytizing with a present that shares the essential joy of our profession? Conceive, Plan, Draw, Collaborate and Replicate!
It is sadly absent from our gift guide this year but happily our neighbors here in Portland at Table of Contents have both the book "Autoprogettazione" which contains the plans for the chair (and much, much more ) AND the cut-but-unassembled kit that Artek brought out a few years ago. Consider the target of your ultimate design gift and choose accordingly: the book is $30 and the kit $310—either of them a bargain for such a tidy, participatory, philosophical dose of design.
Check out the rest of TOC's highly edited collection here or visit in person—they're right next door to us!