Thorsten Franck’s Out of Balance Stool

In an ideal world, every new design would come with a personal anecdote. When this occurs, it suggests to me that the product (and the designer) have tapped into something fundamental about the human experience—thus, the product becomes that much more compelling. Just so with Thorsten Franck’s Out of Balance Stool, which, as it turns out, is not out of balance at all.

Out of Balance Stool. Designed by Thorsten Franck.

Out of Balance Stands on One Leg

Franck’s “One Legged” stool Joins the likes of Hamish Tennent’s Rocker Stool, whose faceted underside provided a gently rocking perch without the benefit of legs. Franck’s version does away with the facets in favor of a simple terminus—a subtly rounded endpoint that completes the stool’s balancing act by mimicking the shape of an egg.

Out of Balance Stool designed by Thorsten Franck

Out of Balance thus supports itself through this brilliant feat of organically-inspired engineering—and therein lies the anecdote alluded to earlier: during the annual spring equinox, my brothers and I found endless amusement in the 24-hour miracle of balancing an egg. Of course, this was no miracle at all but merely a completely explicable phenomenon of nature.

Much the same might be said about Franck’s Stool, which uses precision craftsmanship and a carefully distributed counterweight to achieve its surprising upright stance. And in fact, Out Of Balance is more resistant to disruption than our equinox eggs. The piece rocks back and forth but rights itself every time; I’d just like to see it perform with a fully grown (and innately unbalanced) human person perched atop.

Out of Balance Stool designed by Thorsten Franck

The Out of Balance Stool is constructed of plywood laminate and fabric upholstery. Designer Thorsten Franck characterizes it as a whimsical piece made for casual lounging: “for rocking, sitting & relaxing... the stool stands flexible like a milking stool just on one leg—using the principles of a tumbler. the three dimensional base body is formed in a light weight construction out of oak veneer, using a special 3d forming technology.”

Out of Balance Stool designed by Thorsten Franck

Out of Balance Stool Aluminum. Designed by Thorsten Franck.

Via Contemporist.

About the Designer: Thorsten Franck likes to pare things down, it would seem, especially in light of his credo of production: “reduced to the max—minimum energy structures.” The proof in the pudding of this philosophy is his product portfolio, items that eschew superfluity and embrace a simple, streamlined functionality. The most compelling examples include the Out of Balance Stool, the Sicht_Kasten storage modules, and the Tisch & Bank twin tables.

Posted May 30, 2011 by Joseph Starr

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