Made On Earth — Political Hot Seat

Craft & Design


Here’s a new look for your home that will have people discussing the politics of the day. Sean Ragan of Austin, Texas, created the Street Spam Lounger from campaign signs and other “street spam.”

Ragan got the idea when he saw a flyer posted on a street pole by Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam (CAUSS) in 2001. The thought of creative reuse was appealing to him “not just for the usual environmental reasons,” but also because he “likes to try to see the untapped potential in mundane, everyday items.”

A graduate student studying organic chemistry, Ragan created the profile for the chair based on a design in James Hennessey and Victor Papanek’s book Nomadic Furniture.

Made from corrugated plastic, the lounger is basically a cardboard chair. Each chair requires 21 “picket” signs measuring 18″×24″, and one large 4’×8′ “billboard” sign.

The four bulkheads that define the chair’s profile are cut from the large sign; the skin covering the back and seat is made from the small signs, folded to slot into the bulkheads and provide rigidity. You can cut them by hand with a utility knife, but ideally they’d be die-cut and scored by machine.

Ragan’s first prototype was completed at the beginning of 2002 and it definitely had people talking. “People are sometimes afraid to sit on it, but it’s quite sturdy,” he says.

Since election season is upon us, now is the perfect time for re-creating this lounger. When hunting for materials, Ragan recommends checking out your local campaign office to see if they have signs they’re getting rid of.

“They’ll probably be glad to give away all that people can carry off, once they’re done with them,” he advises. So come November, expect to see Street Spam Loungers everywhere.

>> Street Spam Lounger How-to:

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!


Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).