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Artek partners with Japanese architect for exhibition Hackability of the Stool

100 ideas for altering Stool 60

Finnish design brand Artek partners with the Japanese architect Daisuke Motogi to bring his ideas for altering Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 to Europe. Research project and exhibition Hackability of the Stool features 100 ideas for altering Stool 60, designed by Alvar Aalto in 1933. This most elemental of furniture pieces has remained in continuous production since its creation and 2023 marks its 90th anniversary.

Motogi and his creative lab DDAA initiated the project Hackability of the Stool back in 2019, when commissioned to create a space for startups. When asked to provide around 150 stools for a large-scale event, Motogi and DDAA Lab invited members of the community to discuss which functions the stool should have. During a workshop, the participants brought up numerous suggestions, which were consolidated into the idea of a multifunctional stool. Instead of designing a new product, DDAA Lab opted for evolving an already existing one: Artek’s Stool 60. Considered a masterpiece of modernist design, Stool 60 was deemed the perfect choice due to its wooden material, easy assembly process and the fact that it’s stackable.

Developing numerous ideas on how to modify the humble design icon, Motogi first presented the results in 2020 as an online exhibition on his Instagram account, where it caught Artek’s attention. Originally over 400 ideas were boiled down to 100 modifications, which Motogi and his team developed by manually altering, or hacking, the Stool 60. In the beginning, they focused on functionality and form, adding the functions of household items onto the stool, or transforming existing tools into stools. Later ideas were centred around the user, transforming Stool 60 into sports equipment or pet homes.

The stools in the exhibition have been hacked in various ways, resulting in charming sculptures. By adding elements, Motogi has turned Stool 60 into little domestic helpers in the shapes of a reading light, a clothes rack or a mirror, while other whimsical hacks transform it into a bin or an iron board, as an ode to the beauty of everyday chores.

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