I’ve been asked to make more seating and tables for the Dining Commons at Martin Luther King Jr Middle School in Berkeley. Since I designed and made the original 32 tables and seating for up to 300 students a few years ago, the program has increased in capacity with the success of the School Lunch Initiative. In anticipation of this request, I redesigned my new stacking stool to streamline production/cost without sacrificing functionality or aesthetics. The prototype pictured above uses 40% less material and labor than my original design (see below), and stacks 8 high instead of 7 high, making for more efficient storage and shipping. The three legs also solve the problem of uneven floors. I made this Tripod Stool prototype out of bamboo and left it to weather outdoors over two years to test its durability, and it has proven itself worthy of further development. If the school accepts the new design I will offer a version for sale on the GOODS pages of this site.
Meanwhile, the original stools have stood up admirably to daily use by middle school students. Only about 4 % have received any damage, and I have been repairing them as required. This models at least two tenets from my manifesto:
– Maintenance = Improvement (The stools are stronger after repair), and
– Market = Material Provenance (the knowledge required for repair being a natural byproduct)
I made this ‘jig’ to add pins to the new legs of damaged stools.