The iconic Stool 60, designed by Alvar Aalto for Artek, has gotten a new look with a special edition called Kontrasti, Finnish for "contrast". First introduced in 1933, Stool 60 is one of the undeniable icons of Finnish furniture design whose simple shape still looks modern – no wonder that the three-legged stool has been in production continuously ever since it was first introduced. Released in 2023, the stool's 90th-anniversary edition Kontrasti is adorned with dark, heat-treated veneers.
In the design world of the 1930s, the stool actually caused quite a sensation due to its revolutionary L-leg structure. To bend the leg of Aalto’s stool, a piece of straight, solid birch is sawn open at the end, forming the shape of a fan, with thin pieces of veneer then glued in the grooves. This structure makes it possible to bend the wood by heating or steaming it at the desired angle. In the Kontrasti stool, this technique is made visible with the help of heat-treated veneers in a darker, 'contrasting' shade. The stools' seats are made using leftover pieces from the L-leg production, and in the special edition, their edges are also decorated with darker veneers.
The Stool 60 Kontrasti is a special edition and will only be available until the end of 2023.