Iconic Artek Stools Made Out of Tree Trunks as 80th Birthday Celebration

© nao tamura

It's called Stool 60 and it's a classic. Created in 1932 by Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, it has become part of our design vocabulary. But designer Nao Tamura has re-interpreted it and made us look at it with fresh eyes.

Tamura has created a special edition for Artek America featuring a cross section of an 80 year old tree as the seat. Called "rings", it celebrates the classic shape of the seat and that of the rings of the tree trunk.

It was commissioned in honour of the stool's 80th birthday, and shown first at Tokyo Designers Week.

© nao tamura

She explains:

Contained within a single tree is its unabridged chronicle
Year by year, never skipping a beat, it records its history slowly.
Some lines speak of seasons of plenty, while others cry of famine.
The size of the rings are never the same.
Each engraving bears witness to battles waged in the name of survival.
To observe such is to humble ourselves to nature's love of life.

© nao tamura

"This celebration was created by layering upon the chair's beautiful geometric shape, a complex and organic graphic of life." Each of the rings of the tree is different, reflecting nature; the seasons, the weather.

If you want one it is up for auction for the Design Trust for Public Spaces which supports public spaces in New York.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Stool 60

The simple idea behind this now-classic stool is based on three bent legs and a round seat. It took Alvar Aalto years to develop the bendable legs since using wood instead of steel was revolutionary at the time.The stackable stool was a major break through for Aalto in the public's eye and for modernist furniture design. The bent legs became a distinctive feature of all his furniture.

Tags: Chairs | Designers | Forestry | Furniture