Stick Chair by Emmanuelle Moureaux


Emmanuelle Moureaux of Tokyo-based Emmanuelle Moureaux Architecture & Design has sent new photos of Stick Chair, a prototype she exhibited at 100% Design Tokyo last month.

The chair features seven oblique wooden rods embedded in a block of acrylic.

Here's Moureaux's explanation:


stick chair

Prototype exhibited during the 100% Design Tokyo 2007 show to finally embody the long-thought idea. The inspiration of "stick chair" came from the "mikado", a pick-up sticks game originating in Europe.

A total of 7 thin round wooden sticks (φ18), placed obliquely support the heavy chunk of acrylic seat at the perfect balance. This architecture like structure was developed after many attempts to achieve an "unbalanced balance," which stabilizes the structure although looks unstable by coming closer to the structural limit.

Due to its beautiful refraction effects, those sticks appear as if they are soaked underwater.

Posted on Wednesday December 19th 2007 at 9:44 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Sorry to sound negative, but… just another impractical chair.

    It’s not like we NEED another one.

    Year’s ago, I remember seeing a review of chair designs for the previous 10 years. One of the entries was a simple rock (yes, a ROCK) with a slight indentation at the top. Frankly, I’ve not seen much improvement on this concept since.

    So, why do so many designers wish to contribute to ‘chair invention?’

    There’s a part of me that suspects that they’d really like to be conceptual artists, but need to rely on working toward a ‘useful’ object.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing ALL of these ideas. They’re fun just looking at them. But, I wonder if we don’t all miss ‘why’ we’re doing it anymore?

  • fBot

    I agree but I think this type of concept based work is an important part of the design genre.

    Is everyone supposed to design with functional, minimal aesthetic?
    Are high end fashions designers supposed to stop their work and design everything for the masses?

    I think not.

  • johan

    Dear Musser,
    A chair for a desiner,has become what the canvas is for painters.
    Design is not all about need, function or solving a problem.
    Design is also about creating, inspiring and surprising people with new creations. If the why question becomes too relevant, no expressions in design will be made and we’ll all stick to the same.
    Like in the old USSR times when the best designers, engineers etc got together to make the perfect chair. In the end it was in fact quite boring to see five million ‘perfect’ chairs.
    I’m not a big fan of these chairs, but I think it’s important to keep creating, as long as we don’t fill the world with it, but keep it in small series.

  • PantserFaust

    To state such a thing as ‘A chair for a designer, has become what the canvas is for painters’ is quite desperate. I guess Musser got it right. Furthermore, it is inappropriate to seriously compare these two disciplines in these contexts. Finally, although this chair may subjectively look good and ‘new’ and all that, who is it supposed to inspire or for who is it intended? I would like to know.

  • maze

    “Is everyone supposed to design with functional, minimal aesthetic?”

    FBOT If your a real industrial Designer then yes. Leave the ego and expression to the Artists.

  • required name

    I think this is becoming an interesting discussion and I really hope the creator of this piece will come back and have a good read through all comments.

    What I think is happening with the work shown above is that there is no good reason is stated why the designer started with the project.

    “Prototype exhibited during the 100% Design Tokyo 2007 show to finally embody the long-thought idea. The inspiration of “stick chair” came from the “mikado”, a pick-up sticks game originating in Europe.”

    Okay, my first question will be: why the choice of Mikado as inspiration for a chair? I don’t see the reason, if there is any please state this because it can give the whole piece meaning. And I rather would read that then “a pick-up sticks game, etc” because this information doesn’t add anything to the piece. If this is a long thought idea I really like to know how this brain works.

    As long as the designer is not capable of having a good reason to create a piece of work it will never be a good piece of work. The starting point is the most crucial point, if this is not strong it will never be good because you can’t set it straight. The piece above is in my opinion a good example of this.

    About this being a ‘concept based work’ I think it would only be good if the content of the concept (what piece of work is not the result of a concept?) is of that much importance that the function of the piece shift from being a chair to being a piece that communicates an idea or thought. Then this idea or thought would needs to be strong and not like in this piece: Mikado as inspiration.

    I think if the designer is not able to explain why it is there like it is it is not a good piece. Describing this as a ‘conceptual

  • I like those pieces alot, just to start with that. Besides the pictures there is an interesting explanatory text which gives the arguments in this debate. Just to mention those chairs are the result of conceptual work. I guess the intention behind that work has not been about building a chair in first place.
    They are more a symbol for intellectual work than some new stylish musthaves. To me a chair is an appropriate object to express the core of a design concept, which might later be adopted in an architectural design.

  • osawa

    conceptual designs are ok.
    but im not okay, if its on sale for more than 100buks.

    I think its called con-art once you have to pay more for something thats not functional, but conceptual.

    you cant really…. sit on a concept… at least i don’t want to.

  • I’ve really enjoyed reading these varied viewpoints. Many valid points. All worth consideration.

  • johan

    you cant sit on a painting can yoiu osawa?

  • johan

    that brings me back to the canvas item I posted.
    It was not to compare paintings with design or all that, I just wanted to point out that each designer sooner or later designs a chair. A chair has become THE item to expose the personal ideas about design. From Gaudi to the Campana’s and Studio Job to Rietveld, they all made a chair im a personal way.

  • stancoenders

    just another cgair…..? it is said that study-results are more interesting than the presented results. sorry for this, but this is not a chair

  • yung

    this is just a thing that makes you feel: oh, maybe I can sit on that.

  • Keep writing ,outstanding work!

  • Keep writing ,good work!

  • rhffhdgh


  • baer

    original ideas from Shiro Kuramata

  • Nassim

    Well it is a nice work of art, but the first thing about designing these is function! They should either think about the function first, or instead just make a good sculpture instead of a chair that you’re not comfortable sitting on.