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Essential, timeless and practical. It’s hard to imagine how we’d get by without the flexibility inherent in the classic wooden stool. While it may look simple at first glance, it’s a deceivingly complex object that continues to fascinate designers and manufacturers across the globe. Balancing aesthetics with function, these newly released seats — hailing from Germany to Japan — show there’s still ample room to innovate.

Castor Stool Plus by Big-Game

Described as an “essential and universal seat,” the Castor Stool Plus by Swiss studio Big-Game for Karimoku Case Study (the lifestyle arm of Japanese brand Karimoku) is conceived as a sibling to the popular Castor Dining Bench and Castor Chair.

Its understated presence is achieved with four slender cylindrical wood legs in three finishes — from natural oak and black-stained to subtle grey — that frame a thin circular seat. Thanks to a reinforced joint, the design is light and airy yet sturdy and durable. The Castor Stool Plus also boasts an upholstered cushion designed to match the trio of colourways. 

Portado by Christian Haas
Jean-Baptiste Fastrez’s FZ1 Stool Embraces Retro-Futurism
Included among Copenhagen-based EO’s latest launch, this adaptable seat is suited for use by all ages.

Portuguese designer Christian Haas’s latest product for German brand Favius walks the fine line between iconic and timeless. Hewn from solid oak, the monolithic stool features angled, tapered legs that support a semicircular seat. Gently rolled edges soften its dramatic profile.

Measuring 45 centimetres wide by 46 centimetres high, Portado is available in two finish options — oiled or black-stained European Oak — that make it the ideal addition to any space.

Lad by Found

Like all of Montreal-based studio Found’s simple yet striking furnishings, the charming Lad stools are made to order in the Quebec metropolis. In black or natural oak, the solid wood seats come in two diameters (45.7 and 61 centimetres) and feature three column-like legs with slender braces between. (Not to be outdone, it even arrives fully assembled.)

An offshoot of local practice Allstudio, the furniture band’s portfolio also includes a selection of circular and oval coffee tables, mirrors, hooks and a creature-like low table. 

Smile Stool by Jaime Hayon
How Jaime Hayon and Benchmark Furniture Crafted a Prime Pandemic Design
As part of the long-distance project Connected, the Spanish designer and British manufacturer unveiled Mesamachine.

Originally produced for the pandemic initiative “Connected,” an exhibition of bespoke works made in quarantine by nine leading designers the world over for the 2020 London Design Festival, Spanish designer Jaime Hayon‘s Smile Stool is now available through British manufacturer Benchmark Furniture.

Though appearing relatively restrained in profile, the playful 46-centimetre-tall, solid cherry seat — featuring two circles created from the turned legs and a moon-shaped opening — reveals a smiling face when viewed from above. In signature Hayon fashion, it’s both whimsical and functional.

For more sartorial stools, visit our Spec Sheets.

4 Designs Reimagining the Wooden Stool

At once quotidian and iconic, these bold launches reveal that there’s still room to improve this classic furniture piece.

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