Conceptually, stools are relatively simple pieces of furniture. They generally consist of a place to sit and legs to stand on. However, within this simple framework, the possibilities for creativity are seemingly endless. From the shape, to the materials used, to something as straightforward as the number of legs, stools can provide a designer with the perfect template to let their imagination run wild.
Reflecting the near-infinite options when it comes to stool design, this week’s edit features pieces that showcase a wide variety of materials, creation methods, and structures. From ash wood to granite, from being grown in a lab to being carved by a computer, from Japanese symbols to parts of a cube, these ten stools represent the diversity of ideas that are gathered around this seemingly simple category of design.
Anton Mikkonen, “Udon” Stool
The “Udon” Stool aims to create a narrative between the material and the process; to design a functional, yet captivating piece of furniture. The stool is made from solid ash wood and has unique and beautifully executed aesthetics reached by 3-axis CNC machine, where the clever use of the router bit achieves the distinctive shape of both the seat and the legs.
The “Udon” Stool is constructed from five pieces all together and all parts and joints are cut out with a CNC machine. It aims to create a sense playfulness through the use of material, solid ash wood, and the manufacturing process.
Kinsley Byrne, “Venus Stool”
Originally carved from a block of tulip wood, the shape has been lost wax cast in bronze. Like the Venus figurines possessing beauty and a powerful strong shape.
The astronomical symbol for Venus also represents femininity, and in Western alchemy stood for the metal copper. From antiquity polished copper has also been used for mirrors, and the symbol for Venus has sometimes been understood to stand for the mirror of the goddess.
Piedrafuego, “Caballito” Stool
The foal has become a little horse: “Caballitos” are the follow-up to our “Potro” stools.
The core of the stools is wood turned by the Ramírez family (San Juan de Abajo, Nayarit) in solid parota wood, sourced by certified providers from the subtropical forest of the Mexican Pacific. The seat is handwoven with black horsehair by Cristian Rodríguez and his family in Cajititlán, Jalisco. No horses are harmed for mane extraction.
Tim Teven, “Pressure Stool”
In the “Pressure” series, Tim Teven uses material deformation under extreme pressure as a tool to design. The deformation of metal by exerting pressure leads to exciting technical details, as well as new optical and haptic qualities.
The “Pressure Stool” and “Pressure Bench” are made of an aluminium sheet into which a pattern is pressed. On one hand, the material is hardened. On the other hand, the normally cold and stiff aluminium takes on an unexpectedly soft and pleasant appearance. This technique makes it possible to produce lightweight seating furniture from aluminium only 2mm thick.
Henrik Ødegaard, “Bent (Aluminum) A, B & C”
The three stools are made of aluminum pipes. They are the three different results of a spatial puzzle within a cube.
Henrik Ødegaard lives and works in Oslo, where he has been running his own practice since 2016. He studied graphic design at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, and architecture at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design before founding Grig Arkitekter with Tron Meyer, carrying out a number projects within architecture and design. Ødegaard’s furniture was first exhibited at the Sight Unseen exhibition during New York Design Week in 2018.
Andredottir & Bobek, “Thinking Space” – Stool – From the collection Artificial nature
The natural colours of rock, stone and moss are what first comes to the eye when looking at the scene from far away, but when moving in between the shapes you slowly feel the transformation from natural to artificial within the objects. Sculptural function as well as physical function is not an aim in itself but is instead replaced with a diverse landscape where the object floats together as a whole.
Here you are allowed to explore the materials and explore moss and stone in a new way. The many handcrafted shapes give a natural rough looking surface that allows the eyes to wander and find new places to investigate.
Stool, side table, wall pieces and sculptures are all handcrafted and are materials as mattress, jesmonite, epoxy and ash tree. Not only is the main product mattress turned into nature, but the works also contributes to recycling and makes focus on creating less waste.
Mark Laban, “Rustic Stool 2.4”
The “Rustic Stool” iterations are part of an ongoing series of furniture objects developed through a process-driven approach to design which engages directly with 3-axis CNC routing as a manufacturing technique.
The machine’s complex functionality is manipulated through playful and experimental interventions to produce unexpected surfaces that deviate from the smooth, perfected geometries commonly associated with the use of CNC routers in industry. These digitally-generated textures evoke the material in it’s raw state, defining the objects with a hybrid aesthetic that articulates rusticity through the language of a machine.
Siim Karro, “Myce” Stool
Stool made from mushroom mycelium-based biomaterial. The seat is formed from hardwood sawdust and mycelium which acts as a binder that joins the seat with the wooden legs. It takes around four weeks to grow a chair in laboratory conditions.
The biomaterial is fire-resistant, lightweight with varying tactile and visual properties.
Tornasol Studio, “Kanji” Stool I
The meaning of the kanji 天 (TEN) is heaven, imperial, or paradise in Japanese. It is divided in: The space 一 Above human 大.
Using this character as a structure, this piece was extruded in different materials: solid granite and varnished and lacquered MDF. These pieces can be used as stools or side tables.
Taller Maya, “Uxmal Stool”
Stone carving was one of the greatest artistic expressions of the ancients Mayans. Using representative Yucatan stones such as conchuela, ticul, and Mayan cream, Taller Maya’s craft-masters elaborated this piece in collaboration with designer Xavier Lorand. The Uxmal stool carries the wisdom and talent of Mayan culture and reflects its relevance in contemporary design. The Uxmal Stool is one of the results of the Visión y Tradición residence program led by Design Week México and México Territorio Creativo.