the idea behind åsta stool was born when i went on a study trip to dalarna in sweden. i fell in love with the functional, minimal, wood furniture I saw in the old log houses there. I especially liked the joining methods.
I got home to my school in lund (ingvar kamprads design centrum, school of industrial design at lund university), and started researching joinery techniques, both european and asian. I found some interesting techniques and decided to make test models.
while I was making these test models, I used the old wooden clamps in the workshop a lot. these inspired me – could this technique of expanding and decreasing a part of the wood be used as a joinery technique? I made a couple of test models using this technique, and it worked very well.
I decided to make a stool using this clamp technique. I made a sketch model in pine and then a finished model in elm. every part of these stools are made out of wood – the seat, the legs, the handles, and the pins fastening the handles to the legs.
how does it work?
when the handles are parallel to the seat – in the upward position – the upper part of the legs are expanded because the handle’s "nose" is pushing the leg outwards and expanding the upper part of the leg. when the handle is parallel to the leg – in the downward position – the leg is not longer expanded and the leg can easily be taken apart from the seat.
the stool is very simple to assemble and disassemble. this is an advantage when it comes to transportation of the stool, for example from the producer to the user, or when you’re moving. this is also an advantage if you want to store the stools in the closet when youre not having guests.
what I especially like about åsta stool is that every detail is made of wood, the functionality, the simple aesthetics, and the graphic pattern underneath the stool when the legs are attached.
åsta is now the inspiration for my upcoming degree work in industrial design, where I will use this clamp joinery technique to make a series of furniture.
the stool disassembled, easy to transport and store
the different parts of the stool, one seat and three legs
how it works – the handle expands the upper part of the leg and locks it into the seat
the workshop clamps that inspired me to try this technique out in a furniture
the first time i sat on the pine sketch model – exiting moment!
the test model of the clamp joinery technique
bottom of the pine sketch model, with the graphic pattern made by the locked handles and the seat
the pine sketch model and the finished elm model shown at stockholm furniture fair