åsta stool by karin ekwall åsta stool by karin ekwall
feb 15, 2012

åsta stool by karin ekwall

åsta stool

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


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions’  feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

  • That\’s a very tidy and complete piece of work.

    peter says:
  • Babe.

    Tom says:
  • amazing copy of tom dixons offcut stool – without the interest

    charlibich says:
  • super!!!

    max says:
  • This only resembles Tom Dixon stool
    There are many differences
    The Dixon stool has supporting cross pieces, this one does not
    The Dixon stool has it legs splayed out at greater angle,
    perhaps necessitating the supporting cross members.
    There are many types of three legged round top stools and
    This is one variation. They are not necessarily a copy of each other.

    Woodworker1 says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

readers news