Launched at Clerkenwell Design Week 2017: the pi squared stool

The pi-squared stool is the second major release from our pi stool range. Like the iconic pi stool, the pi-squared stool draws on the signature shape borrowed from the mathematical symbol, while stretching the proportions to create a more delicate curve and provide a more versatile product than the original design. And as with all of our designs, the pi-squared stool uses ethically-sourced and environmentally-friendly materials.

Texture and colour are key to the intriguing aesthetic. The contrast between the rigidity of the oak frame and the soft give of the woven paper cord seat create a perfect balance between structure and comfort. The colour of the oak has been fumed with ammonia to create a deep, dark brown, similar to the 5000 year-old sediment-rich bog oak that we use with our original pi stool. This darkness starkly contrasts the lightness of the natural coloured seat providing a clear distinction between the two elements.

While the design of the stool remains functionally and formally simple, the manufacturing process behind it is much more complex. With subtle-yet-specific angles of leg-splay in both directions, several of the joints are made up of compound angles, the execution of which is accomplished through a design process informed by computer aided design.

A series of laser cut jigs were created from these digital files, allowing us to shape the parts with machine and hand tools to fit together seamlessly, like a well-formed 3D puzzle. While our stool is ultimately bonded together with solvent-free wood glues, this design feature is heavily influenced by the traditional complex construction joinery that still holds together many of the centuries-old buildings of Japan.

To accommodate the woven seat, the frame has shallow notches designed in the top rails to take the depth of the 3.5mm Danish cord so that the weave sits at the same level as the frame when finished.

Every element of the Pi Stool points towards simplicity of form, excellence of craftsmanship and quality of materials. Our environmental commitment combined with a sensible artisan design aesthetic pleases both the conscience and the eyes.

Stay tuned for a video in the next few weeks showing the design process that goes into making a pi squared stool from start to finish.