Three Cool Stools from Michael Stolworthy

You’ve heard the expression, “too cool for school?” Well, in the interest of continuing a recent trend of questionable puns (see “God is in the DTiles”), here’s a parodic take on that aphorism--“too cool for stools.” While the coinage may seem to come out of left field, it’s apropos of the relative scarcity of said item in the 3rings roster, a deficit I hope to address with today’s trio of elevated seating, each of them authored by Michael Stolworthy. The object in question would seem to be inextricably linked to the designer’s destiny, given the implication inherent in his surname. And in view of the singular achievements of Twelve, Serous, and Intrigue—I’m happy to report—he proves himself “stool worthy,” indeed.

Serous. Designed by Michael Stolworthy.

A Trio of Deliciously Divergent Aesthetics

But are these stools too cool for you? I guess it would depend where you tend to indulge your imbibements, where you make your proverbial merriment. Twelve, says Stolworthy, is “cold and simple, with an industrial quality.” Industrial, yes, but “cold” doesn’t quite to do it justice, unless the reference intends the literal bodily sensation caused by bare skin on anodized aluminum. But even that wouldn’t be too unpleasant, especially if the piece were ensconced in the modern environments it might find compatible with its look, perhaps a hip new eatery in NYC? A retro industrial bar in L.A.? Either would do nicely.

Serous, in contrast, embraces the organic, eschewing the industrial/futurist look of Twelve for a complex, interwoven structure that reminds me of the intricacies of cellular division, the protoplasmic processes of forming bone. In fact, the piece reminds me mightily of the conceptually-driven Bonechaise, a thinking man’s lounger designed to intuit “where strength is needed and where it is not,” much in the manner of actual bone. Serous seems to partake of this same species of sub-structure; its asynchronous criss-crossings render it biologically appropriate for a venue like Cataluña’s latest ice-cavern nightclub, La Cova.


Twelve. Designed by Michael Stolworthy.


Intrigue. Designed by Michael Stolworthy.

Then there’s Intrigue, a piece that flirts with the gaudy, that dabbles in the oft-used and euphemistic notion of bling. With its high-gloss silver and spine of oversized ovoid perforations, the piece speaks the language of Las Vegas. And this is exactly what Stolworthy had in mind, since Intrigue was “inspired by the elegant and luxurious bars and lounge environments of the Aria, Vdara, & Cosmopolitan Hotels.” Intrigue achieves the nifty trick of negotiating between decadence and the divine, between garrulous and garish, between contemporary and classic. Indeed, one thing I love about Intrigue is its timeless aesthetic: it would perform its supporting duties with equal aplomb, whether the sitter were Sharon Stone as Ginger McKenna in the 60s-set Casino, or Angelina Jolie as the enigmatic Elise in the contemporary thriller The Tourist.

Via ChairBlog and HomeReviews.

Posted January 21, 2011 by Joseph Starr

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