From the Egypt to the present days, the history of stools is rich in forms and meanings. Fusina turns them in effective brand communicators for sport wear and accessories.

From being the chair’s “younger brother”, humble tool used during the milking, to a design object and brand communicator: the stool is probably the piece that, in furniture design, transformed the most, always preserving its basic features of seat, table, stand. Thanks to its great versatility, it soon attracted designers and producers, becoming an extremely important piece of design furniture both for houses and public spaces.

sgabello a tre gambe pixabay photo by makamuki0

A story that stretches from the Ancient Egypt

The story of the stool has distant roots. Many evidences tell us that the stool was used even in the ancient Egypt. In that time, its shapes and functions were varied: it represented the authority and prestige of the deceased sat on it in the sculptures or it simply was the support on which humble artisans sat during their hard work. One of the elements that reflect the stool’s evolution the most in this historical period are the legs. Three or four, ending in bull’s hooves at the beginning, later evolved in lion’s paws and, sometimes, even in long goosenecks with beak. During the Roman Empire, the lion’s paw legs were sometimes replaced with female figures.

At the French Sun King Louis XIV’s royal court, during the seventieth Century, shapes and models were of great importance in representing differences in identity and personal privileges, and had to respect a rigid etiquette. At Versailles, the Duques’ wives and the other ladies of the court used to seat on the pliant, a simple folding stool with a “double x” leg structure. The short and padded seat stool, the tabouret de grace, on the other side, was reserved exclusively for those few aristocrats who had the privilege to seat next to the monarchs.

In modern times, there was absolute freedom of choice for shapes, dimensions and materials. A classical piece, symbol of functionalism in furniture design, is the Stool 60. Designed in 1933 by the Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, this stool has a basic, easily recognizable shape: the birch-wood legs, supporting a round seat, are bent into the shape of an L using a particular technique invented by Aalto together with wood carpenter Otto Korhonen.

Alvar Aalto [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons sgabello
The Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto

Italy gave its contribution to the history of stool design with the work of brothers Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni who, in 1957, created Mezzadro Zanotta, putting their usual irony in reinterpreting an everyday object such as the stool. They took the seat of an old farm tractor, varnished it and turned the spring part upside down.

sgabello Mezzadro Zanotta Castiglioni photo by By Holger.Ellgaard (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The stool Mezzadro Zanotta by Castiglioni brothers

Even more original is the stool known as “telephone stool” or “Sella” (Saddle), made by fixing an authentic leather bicycle saddle to a vertical pole.

sgabello Sella Castiglioni prodotti-17095-rel3c2990fd-4e4f-49b5-9edc-75918e0766bb
The stool Sella by Castiglioni brothers

Fusina for Sidi and Fi’zi:k

A simple, everyday object that becomes useful vehicle for communication. This is how, in Fusina, we interpreted the stool: while designing it, we were also designing a Point Of Purchase – a design object able to communicate with originality the brand or product’s identity in retail spaces.
For the Italian manufacturer of wear for motorcycling and biking Sidi, Fusina shaped an oval cylinder stool with a high-density foam seat to be placed inside the shops. On the curved sides of the stool, images back-printed on transparent pvc films can be periodically replaced with new promotional material of the brand or product.

sgabello Sidi pop Fusina blog

For Fi’zi;k, bicycle components producer, our team designed and made a stool called “Paracarro” (“Bollard”) that, thanks to its shape and dimensions, recalls this typical element of the road. Our stool has a wooden rectangular base and a curved seat. It holds advertising messages and written texts that recall the imaginary of a mountain road, thus accompanying the customer outside the store and into the nature, riding his bike.

Fizik sgabello pop Fusina

A design object that maintains its original purpose of seat, becoming at the same time an effective communicator of the brand’s identity and vision in a retail space.