Save Our Sustainability with Josh Owen’s SOS Stool

Here’s a stool to join the ranks of the multi-colored and unorthodox Original Stool by Breaded Escalope, the very green and very portable Zaishu Stool by Matthew Butler and Helen Punton, and the elegant and iconic Cherner Stool by the Cherner Chair Company. The SOS Stool by Josh Owen for Casamania possesses the fun and fashionable flair of the first; the green sensibilities of the second; and the iconic status of the third—in the sense, says designer Owen, that its basic shape is familiar and thus possesses some of the qualities we traditionally associate with “stool-ness.” Owen characterizes this last as the jumping off point for creating a product that’s authentically pleasing to the user: “I’m looking for ways in which objects can delight the senses on the one hand, but also feel comfortable, as if they belonged already, because of some connection to a former object.”

SOS Stool. Designed by Josh Owen for Casamania.

An Innovation that Expands Product Life Stream

From a purely aesthetic perspective, SOS satisfies Owen’s recipe for an engaging bit of A&D—it’s tactilely appealing, it’s visually engaging, and yet its genera and antecedents, and hence usefulness, are apparent. But there’s another aspect to this particular stool (two in fact) that render it both new and iconic in the way Owen suggests. The piece represents a particular achievement in product recycling. Contrary to many other pieces with welds or junctions, Stool is completely recyclable. The 100% polyethylene rotational moulding design means it contains no extraneous parts that can’t be recycled. Perhaps a good analogy to clarify this point is the plastic soda bottle’s ubiquitous cap, which, being of different material disposition from the bottle, must be unscrewed and discarded prior to recycling. Thinking sustainably, this represents wasted energy, since a certain proportion of the product must be disassembled and separated prior to recycling. As you’ll see in this video, SOS skirts this issue with its clever two-piece design: the polyethylene top simply screws into the polyethylene base—no complex assembly or extra parts required.

Save Our Sustainability with Josh Owen's SOS Stool
Save Our Sustainability with Josh Owen's SOS Stool
Save Our Sustainability with Josh Owen's SOS Stool

The other bit of newness herein concerns the intriguing S-Hooks on either side of the stool’s seat. According to Owen, these addenda reflect the “typology of Stool as a transitional object—it goes indoors; it goes outdoors; it’s mobile… so designing the handle was quite important.” Not only do these integrated handles facilitate easy transport, they also “enable the product to act as a kind of parasite in an environment.” In other words, SOS clings to its surroundings: hang it on a doorknob to get it out of the way while vacuuming; clip it on the oven door to clear the floor for mopping; and when you’re done, return SOS to its preferred locale, take a load off, pour yourself a glass of red, and discover that said glass fits perfectly in SOS’ clever niche.

Via ChairBlog.

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