Behind the HYPE: The Artek Stool 60 Is the Most Popular Stool of All Time

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As our lives revolve more and more with our homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, furniture and home goods are more than ever playing a vital role. For our latest episode of Behind the HYPE, we look into the timeless and classic Artek Stool 60, and how it became the most popular stool seat of all time.

The Stool 60 was created in 1933 by Finnish design company Artek, and slowly became a staple for artists, architects, design aficionados and the like. Its simple four-piece construction made of birchwood helped pave the way in the 1920s for Scandinavian modernism, which merged simplicity with form and function. The Stool 60, according to Artek, has sold over eight million units, with roughly a million each decade since inception.

Its designer Hugo Alvar Henrik Aalto created the stool’s signature ‘L’ shaped legs from individual pieces of wood and were results of experimentations with the highly durable material. The wood would be carved and steamed to allow pliability and shaping, while maintaining its rigidity. The curved legs would be referred to as the ‘little sister of the architectural column,’ culling inspiration from building structures at the time. The design would reach the United States borders in the mid-50s, with institutions like MoMA even adding it to their permanent collection of furniture.

Today, the Stool 60 has become ubiquitous with modern home furniture design, and has a “blank canvas” appeal for artists, brands, and collaborators like Barbara Kruger, Supreme, Rei Kawakubo of COMME des GARÇONS and more.

Watch the full Behind the HYPE episode above and also our previous video on the success of Goyard.