Dinner parties often benefit from a diverse yet complementary mix of characters. In that same spirit, Hem has introduced six sculptural stools that reflect the varied personalities of their designers. Dubbed Props, the collection falls under the Swedish design brand’s Hem X umbrella of limited-edition collaborations with up-and-coming studios.
All six stools offer a place to sit, but that’s where the similarities end. Materials, forms, and colours all vary dramatically from one design to the next — and yet together, the gang still feels like a cohesive group.
The range unites emerging talent from Scandinavia and beyond. As with past editions of Hem X, the collection’s roster of designers was curated by Hem in partnership with London-based gallery and magazine Modern Design Review.
Henrik Ødegaard’s pastel purple Slurp stool is a charming standout, featuring wood panels perforated with hieroglyphic holes that evoke Swiss cheese. (Avid followers of Hem founder Petrus Palmer’s Instagram account will note that Ødegaard also recently designed Palmer a custom bar cabinet. Here’s hoping he’s working on something for Hem’s mainline next.)
Another favourite is Paris-based designer Wendy Andreu’s Regen stool, which reflects a craft-based approach by winding cotton ropes around a structural frame to create a striped textile.
Two of the collection’s other featured designers deliver their own spin on a traditional wooden stool. Specifically, Brussels- and Antwerp-based studio Destroyers/Builders created a totemic assembly of rounded tulip wood blocks (left) while Sho Ota — who is originally from Japan, but is now based in Eindhoven — formed a Jenga-like stack of ash offcuts (right).
Delivering another dose of blocky geometry, Seoul’s Seongil Choi riffs on pixelated graphics with a tower of welded sheet steel (left). Each surface is mirror polished “for an inexplicable amount of time.” Finally, the Mass stool by Odd Matter (right) successfully lives up to the studio’s name. While the acid green cylinder may resemble a science experiment, it’s actually molded from a cork and plaster mix.
While Hem’s core furniture line already contains some pretty eclectic offerings, each of the designs in this latest Hem X drop excel at expressing a unique perspective. Why seat your guests in rows of matching chairs when you can have them select a throne that appeals to their sense of individuality?
That said, collectors may have trouble procuring a complete set: each stool is limited to an edition of just five pieces.
Using everything from wood to winding cotton rope, emerging designers deliver singular takes on casual seating.