Swiveling wooden stool is compact, multi-functional, and mildly uncomfortable

While all furniture needs to be stable, chairs and other seating furniture need to meet two requirements. They have to be stable enough to hold the weight of the person sitting on them, but they also have to be comfortable to encourage or even tempt those people to use them. Then again, there are some seats that seem to actually discourage lounging around, adopting a design that’s purely utilitarian and sufficient for a brief rest of a few minutes. However, there are chairs that were designed with comfort in mind but fall slightly short of that goal. This stool, for example, is undoubtedly quite useful, space-efficient, and probably even sustainable, but it might have slightly missed the mark in one of its core use cases.

Designer: Jeongchun Lee

The stool looks simple enough at first glance, with a tall box for a base and two plain boards forming the actual seat as well as a backrest. The latter element puts this design somewhere in between a typical stool and a chair, though the narrow area and absence of arms put it more in the category of a stool. Either way, it’s clearly designed for sitting, but it also does more than that.

The base of the stool has a rack for holding reading materials, either magazines or a few books. This small detail makes the design better suited for places where such an activity is conducive, such as a library, a lobby, or a common area in offices or schools. Of course, you can also place it around your home and it won’t even take up too much space because of its tall and narrow structure.

The Chair 025 design concept, however, has one trick up its sleeve. The seat can rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to actually face any direction you prefer without having to move the chair itself. That said, you might not be able to swing around so easily because your legs will hit the corners of the “stall” or base. Instead, you will just be swiveling back and forth, which could be the goal to induce a little blood circulation even while you’re sitting, although that still runs the risk of injuring your legs if you’re not careful.

The design’s low backrest can also be a point of contention, given it doesn’t exactly provide enough support and could even lead to injury or accidents if you forget that it doesn’t completely go all the way up. For a stool that seems to encourage sitting for long periods of time to read, the potential discomfort is a little counterintuitive. The economy of design and potential for using sustainable materials, however, do make the Chair 025 concept a candidate for cramped spaces and budget-constrained owners.