Bedouin Bookshelf by Etel Marcenaria

Winner of a Red Dot Award for Product Design, the Bedouin Bookshelf is a little piece of book heaven. Described by its manufacturer as “an elegantly designed bookshelf that can be transformed into a compact, easy-to-transport piece of luggage,” Bedouin gets its name from the nomadic desert dwellers of the Sahara. The wood and rattan bookshelf was designed by Lia Siquiera, one of the creative minds behind the Brazilian design and manufacturing company Etel Marcenaria, which uses sustainably-harvested timber to create wood furniture influenced by diverse cultures.

Bedouin Bookshelf. Designed by Etel Marcenaria.

The group’s green philosophy melds beautifully with its heterogeneous approach: “Traditional woodworking techniques like marquetry are combined with new finishing methods using gold dust, copper, natural polishing and textures, effectively linking each design to the best of past and present surface styling.” Like its itinerate namesakes, the Bedouin Bookshelf is ready to travel; it “can be transformed into a compact, easy-to-transport piece of luggage.” That is really very clever, considering that true book lovers will not abandon their libraries—at most, bibliophiles will reduce their collections to voyager size, keeping the bare bone must-reads while wandering the world. But the awesome beauty of the Bedouin Bookshelf lies in the way it mimics a book’s form: “It is operated by interactive movements: like a book that is opened, the shelves unfold to become a bookshelf.” A hollow center axis supports the unit and also serves for ventilation—you might call it the bookshelf’s spine.



I LOVE books and their various housings (see Rek and Graffititek), so I think I can speak for bookworms everywhere. While others may not believe that people would journey with books, they would be incorrect. Proof 1: at the moment, I am spending the year traveling around the country by car. It contains (besides two people, two dogs, and three bicycles) one large box of favorite titles lovingly labeled “Traveling Library.” Extrapolating from personal experience, I have faith that the Bedouin Bookshelf’s potential for portability means much to eggheads everywhere. Siquiera’s beautifully designed piece represents Etel Marcenaria’s Brazilian flair and craftsmanship quite well: “Expressing the collective unconscious of luxury: beautiful, simple; nothing more, nothing less.” Given this statement, one of the books that certainly belongs on the Bedouin Bookshelf is Jung’s famous tome.

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