At first glance, the Artek Aalto Stool 60 appears simplistic. Look a little deeper and you’ll discover that it’s much more than an average stool. Designed more than 80 years ago, Stool 60 remains as a modern design icon. It has a spot in MoMA’s permanent collection and has, of course, spawned copycats. The distinctive feature that sets it apart from other stools, including imitations, is the ” L-leg.” World renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto invented and used a cutting-edge method of bending birch wood at a 90-degree angle. This allowed Aalto to fasten the legs of the stool to the underside of the seat, eliminating the need for framework.
Mass production of the stools took place in 1934. Some were upholstered and others painted to suit the preferences of customers. The stool was designed with three legs to ensure stackability. As with most Finnish design, functionality almost always went hand-in-hand with aesthetics. Stool 60 made its first public appearance in London at a major review of Finnish furniture. This ignited a flow of furniture exports to Great Britain, most of which were the stools.
Up until 1935, exports were handled by Huonekalu-ja Rakennustyötehdas. Artek took over the reigns and also handled the marketing of Aalto’s furniture. This relationship was ideal with Artek’s experience in organizing art exhibits and providing interior design services.
Artek’s motto, “One Chair is Enough,” represents the timelessness of Aalto’s designs. To date, more than a million stools have been sold and it’s easy to see why. If you have yet to be part of that statistic, there’s a chance for you to win your own Stool 60. Find out how on our website. Already own one? Let us know how you use it in your home by commenting below.