About Brokenpress

A wet & wonderful Guerrilla Truck Show

We had a great, albeit wet, time at last Tuesday’s 10th annual Guerrilla Truck Show hosted by Morlen Sinoway Atelier in Chicago’s Fulton Market. We were excited to share a space with Joe Wislar of Futility Studios highlighting Alex’s furniture and Joe’s lighting.

We were in the Guerrilla Truck show in 2012, and if you’re not familiar with it, the concept is 60 small moving trucks turn into pop-up spaces/showrooms for artists, designers and furniture makers for one night in June during Neo-Con. For the 10th annual show this year, there were over 200 applicants, and we were excited to be one of the sixty trucks selected to participate in the show.

While the concept seems pretty easy, there’s a lot of prep work done. You start with a blank canvas, er, empty truck, and the goal is to make it inviting for people to come in and view your work.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

This is what we start with

Since our truck rental was only for 24 hours, both Alex and Joe planned the layout as they loaded the truck with their pieces. The wonderful part of Brokenpress partnering with Futility is how the rich colors of Alex’s furniture mix well with the sleek chrome/metal of Joe’s lighting designs. Alex’s pieces have very modern lines from wood grain and steel and aluminum bases while Joe’s pieces uses tactile vintage car parts with bulbs that are best described as ornamental. There’s a definite vintage, mid-century to both their styles that compliment each other perfectly.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Planning up the mockup

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Almost there!

The rain was intermittent throughout the afternoon, but we were ready at 3:30 to roll into our space.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

In the queue ready to roll in.

We had a great spot right on Fulton, in the middle of 23 other trucks. It was exciting to see the mix of art, furniture and design objects next to one another.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Even with a gloomy sky, the skyline looks fantastic.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Setting up shop

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

We were ready right at 5:30

We worked hard on making the space not look like the inside of a truck. We wanted to create an actual space to experience our work. We wanted to mimic a living room, including carpet tiles, a chair and vintage vinyl records spinning on our turntable, hearing them through Brokenpress’ rift-sawn white oak speakers with vintage grill cloth. What were we listening to? You just needed to check out what record was up on our record rail to get your answer.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

We’re big fans of the Man from U.N.C.L.E soundtrack… Volume 2!

Even with all the people coming in and out of the truck all night, we never had a skip on the record! Our signature audio credenza featured a record stop, which made it easy to search for our next record to spin without having it shift to the back of the credenza.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

There was lots of interest throughout the night

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Rift-sawn white oak surfboard tables welcome you into the space

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Alex telling people about our bar cart prototype

Despite the torrential downpour, we met a lot of great people enjoyed our pieces, the music and our space. The only complaint from our guests was there wasn’t any alcohol in our bar cart! We had a great time, hope we made some new fans of Brokenpress’ mid century modernized furniture. Thanks to all for supporting our mid-century modernized furniture that’s handmade in Chicago.  If you want to see some of our items before next year’s show, contact us and to schedule a time to meet us.

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Alex and Secretary Ladybird™ braving the rain

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

Alex and Joe

Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago Brokenpress Furniture 2014

End of the night. Looking forward to next year!

Prepping for the Guerrilla Truck Show

We’re very excited to have been selected to join Morlen Sinoway Atelier‘s 10th Annual Guerrilla Truck Show on Tuesday, June 10th.  What is it, you ask? It’s a one-night-only popup design show, using moving trucks at gallery spaces, in Chicago’s Fulton Market. Trucks back up to dock height sidewalks of the area, open up the back of the truck, and boom – there’s your gallery.  The Guerrilla Truck show coincides with Neocon, the world’s largest Contract Furnishings International Trade Fair. We’re excited to be included as one of the sixty trucks in this year’s Guerrila Truck Show and introduce such a large audience to Brokenpress’ Mid-Century modernized furniture. We definitely adhere to their manifesto:

The GUERRILLA Manifesto:
1. To achieve excellence in design
2. To galvanize the design community locally and nationally
3. To select forward thinking individuals that are innovative with both products & display
4. To achieve a high quality of craft and presentation

We’ll be teaming up with Futility Studios for a second time this year. Futility has artfully been bringing the garage into the living room since 2012, and compliments Brokenpress’ furniture well. It’s a great collaboration that we’re excited about. We partnered together for the first time at Retro Rewind in Dubuque in January.

Brokenpress Guerrilla Truck Show Futility Studios Furniture

Futility Studios and Brokenpress Design+Fabrication at Retro Rewind Dubuque

We were part of the 8th annual truck show in 2012 when Brokenpress was intially a side project for Alex. Even though we were new to the scene, Brokenpress was mentioned as one of the favorites by Design Bureau. See some of our images from the 2012 event below.

Brokenpress Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago 2012

The beginning of Brokenpress alongside McBride Housewrights in 2012

Brokenpress Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago 2012

Our humble beginnings with the Brokenpress cocktail credenza and hardwood dining table with inlaid trivet.

Brokenpress Guerrilla Truck Show Chicago 2012

We learned a lot our first time and can’t wait to dazzle the crowd in 2014.

We have big plans for our truck interior this year, and plan on debuting a new item or two at this event. Find out more on the event’s Facebook page, and be sure to stop on by to say hello! Have a specific question? Let us know and we’ll get back to you.


Our first official ad in Atomic Ranch magazine

Starting out a business isn’t as easy as one would think. For many years I did graphic design work in the evenings and the weekends. I never really thought much about professional advertising. However, I knew Alex’s work needed to be in front of the right audience. After spending an afternoon picking up magazines at City News, we came across Atomic Ranch. I used to subscribe years ago when I was living a modern condo life. I don’t know why I forgot about it, but when brought the issue home, we immediately renewed our subscription. After a couple of weeks we thought where else would be a better place for Alex to advertise Brokenpress? I emailed and fortunately we were able to make it in by the Spring issue’s deadline.

Mid-Century Modernized Advertisement for Brokenpress Design in Chicago

Our first official ad – great outside of page placement!

Today two copies arrived in the mail – our subscriber copy and our advertiser copy. It’s their 10th anniversary issue and it features a lovely property in Chicago. We hope this helps give Brokenpress an introduction to the larger mid-century modern audience that his work fits so well into. If you haven’t looked at Atomic Ranch before, pick up a copy today. If you see it, please contact us via Facebook or here and tell us what you thought of it!


Brokenpress Design Midcentury modern furniture Chicago

Atomic Ranch’s 10th Anniversary Issue – Spring 2014

We’re gonna blog!

While Brokenpress Design + Fabrication is the work of Alex Dunham, it’s a joint collaboration with his wife, Jennifer Bakija.  Better known as Secretary Ladybird™, Jen handles the secretary stuff which includes marketing and customer service while Alex is focused on the making and creating. We decided to add a blog to our website after Ladybird found a new creative outlet for herself in Grocery Gal. Upcoming posts will be from one or the other.

These posts will help give you a little more on our passions, inspirations and why we do things the way we do. We’re more than just fans of mid-century modern living building furniture in our Chicago bungalow. We hope you check our Brokenpress Design + Fabrication’s future blog posts and learn a little more about us. Cheers!