Bow-Wow Stool by Morten Emil Engel



Copenhagen architect Morten Emil Engel has won a competition to design stools that will furnish an exhibition building by Japanese architects Atelier Bow-Wow at the Krabbesholm Højskole in Skive, Denmark.


Manufactured by PP Møbler in Denmark, each stool is carved from one piece of solid oak.


The design will be on show at CODE 09 and Danish Design Centre SHOWHOW as part of Copenhagen Design Week, which begins today.


Here's some more information from Morten Emil Engel:


Bow-Wow Stool
designed by architect Morten Emil Engel

Morten Emil Engel has won the international competition to design a stool for a new exhibition building in Krabbesholm Højskole by Japanese architects, Atelier Bow-Wow.


The stool is carved from one solid piece of oak wood to provide a rugged, organic, joint-free, highly durable piece of furniture made to last for generations. No screws, glues or chemicals are used in the making, only organic oil for surface treatment.


The stool can thus be composted at the end of it's lifespan to provide nutrients for future growth and complete a cradle to cradle cycle.


All stools are completely unique due to variations in color, grain, pattern and texture of the wood and the stool tells the story of the tree it originated from thereby further reinforcing nature’s beauty and imperfections by revealing it's age and characteristics that make each piece unique.


The design embraces imperfections such as cracks and crevices that naturally occur during drying as well as the slight changes in form that happen with shift in humidity and reaction to weather.


The stool was designed by Morten Emil Engel in 2009 and is manufactured by environmentally friendly and acclaimed furniture makers PP Møbler in Denmark.


Bow-Wow Stool will be exhibited during the Copenhagen Design Week at the following events:

CODE 09 international furniture fair in Copenhagen from 27 August - 30 August 2009
Danish Design Centre SHOWHOW exhibition from the 27 August - 6 September 2009.

Posted on Thursday August 27th 2009 at 3:00 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • tron_the_movie

    oh my lord. the horror. one piece of solid oak per chair! that is murder.

  • marie

    c’est de la bombe bébé!

  • mcmlxix

    I would have named it the Molar. It’s quite nice in its honesty of form, but I wonder how much waste is produced by the subtractive process. I mean oak just doesn’t grow on trees anymore…pine on the other hand…

  • Ooh, delicious! Lovely form, lovely material. A very nice object all the way around.

  • Pablo

    Looks very nice. But there’s a large amount of wasted material, no? If sustainability is really a concern, why not double your yield of material by machining the legs separately and designing some creative joinery to attach them? A little wood glue won’t keep it from being “composted” at the end of it’s life cycle. I appreciate the monolithic quality, but the “green” talk of not using any chemicals, etc., rings hollow when the material yield is only 50% or so.

  • roddy

    what’s irony !
    please designers, stay modest and honnest.
    respect the nature. it’s possible.

  • gray

    I can’t figure out why anyone would find this creative in the least. It’s a one-liner and the approach is that of someone who doesn’t know anything about actually making a piece of furniture. On top of that it’s incredibly wasteful.

  • Greenwash!

  • def

    from the last picture it seems that you could make another set of legs from the off cuts alone.

    or with a bit taller chunk make 2 stools . . .with some very creative CNC

  • rossvon

    Could one not get 2 chairs out of a cube of Oak? Cutting between their interlocked legs?

    LOL Molar!!!!!

  • gd

    roddy, go and buy some plastic stool. I love this wood stool. It’s amazing!

  • Masoud Shabahang

    I don’t like it. Not good for preserving that tall green live and lovely beautiful trees.

  • please, stay modest and honest !
    it’s a murder, this is not design.

  • Fred


    You are repeating yourself. And vastly exaggerating.

    A murder ? Cutting a tree is considered a murder now ? I mean everybody is entitled to their own opinion but this is ridiculous: what about totem poles, an Eames walnut stool, or even any wooden sculpture of the past 10,000 years ? Sure it could’ve been designed for more sensible manufacturing, as separate pieces, joined together as Pablo said. Even better: waste could’ve been reduced by sitting on the freshly cut log. But murder? To some people, meat is murder; wood is arts, craft, housing, heat, hobbies etc.

    Not design ? Please, do develop your thought further, we are anxious to know more.

    Please talk to us, we’re listening.
    Oh and your website doesn’t exist.

  • Velma


  • Rikard

    It is lovely and sure to appeal to the LUXE lovers by virtue of it’s careless consumption.

  • Wood is a fantastic and very sustainable material as long as sources are replenished.
    It’s organic and requires no production resources unlike using metals, glass, plastics etc. which use vast amounts of resources even before becoming a designed object.

    Therefor wood SHOULD be used as it is very sustainable and IS cradle to cradle unlike many other materials.

    The Stool is produced in limited quantity for a museum building and all wood comes from managed sources where new trees are planted when others are cut down. So there are reforestation schemes in place. . . They are not produced from illegally logged wood etc.
    Furthermore we are planning a scheme in collaboration wit Tree Nation ( to plant a new tree for every stool produced. . . thus up-cycling material use and planting new trees where they are really needed.

    As a final comment, the stools are produced by PP furniture who are environmental front-runners and have a great ethical and sustainable principles who they operate under. They would not even consider production unless it lived up to their standards.

    All in all the materials used are modest in comparison to one persons yearly use of paper cups for coffee or a yearly subscription of a newspaper. But unlike these disposables, the stool is meant to last for generations.

  • Kasper Benjamin reimer Hansen

    amazing.. shut up about the damn nature.. this is designe in it´s pureste form.. love it

  • Fred


    When telling opponents to “shut up about the damn nature”, you’re sinking to their hysterical level and that is not helping. Next time, unless you have better researched arguments, please refrain from commenting.

  • toodles

    shut your trap morten


  • teacakes

    It’s gorgeous as it’s solid and weighty and will be around for many many years and get lovlier with time! In this sense Mortens augments stands rock solid!
    Isn’t the life cycle and indispensability of one such object what sustainability is all about?

  • ambroise

    I am not sure we need to use violence to comment.

  • martin

    Think the stool looks a little bit too similar to a stool from a stool exhibited at the stockholm furniture fair 2007, if not painted white on outside though..

  • The big issue here is not that it is made from a solid piece of wood. It’s that it is made from a solid piece of oak; a tree that, under the best of circumstances, grows 1 cm in diameter per year. The wood for that stool is from a tree that is likely to have been nearly 100 years old. That isn’t sustainable. Being natural and compostable is an argument that can be made of ANY object made from wood. That certainly doesn’t make it sustainable.

    By no means am I saying this is the only project that makes this kind of claim either, and as for the design I think it is very beautiful. We all need to consider the costs of our designs, both upstream and downstream.

  • Grig Mitrea

    This is not sustainable in may ways. It does not use a wood that would grow back quickly . it does not do much, as far as I can tell, with the waste wood.
    On top of the fact that is using thick oak that grows slow it uses solid wood that will most certainly crack badly in a few years and the chair will need to be replaced. It looks heavy and not very comfortable. The shape is nice but it is not breathtaking.
    This is not a cradle to cradle product – you can’t just melt it and make a new chair when it cracks.
    Wise and labour intensive joinery would make it more durable in time and less wasteful in material.
    Designers and craftsmen and architects and engineers and forest stewards have to work together and get information from one another to produce something sustainable and durable.

  • Jhon

    Most oak (at least in europe) that is cut down is industrial oak. Planted to be used for shipbuilding in the 19th century. As long as you replace the tree you cut down you dont loose trees. This have been done for hundreds of years becouse its economicaly stustainable.

    In sweden, where im from, 98% of the trees are planted. In europe today there are 2 times as many trees as it where during the ww2. Cutting down a tree can be compared to harversting crops.

    The “waste” material as you call it can be used for energy production or other wooden products such as masonite or OSB. To say that the use of wood in this chair is not environmentaly sustainable is nothing but a lie.

  • Jhon

    People seem to confuse regular forest farming with the logging of rainforests.

  • Matt

    Relax people! I hate waste of wood, but you have to pay attention to the photos posted before you attack the manufacturing of this stool. First take a look at the stool being shaped. The CNC machine cuts around the legs and leaves a good solid chunk of wood that is suitable for other furniture parts. It is not necessarily a waste. All in all you would probably be surprised how little waste there is making this stool compared to traditionally manufactured furniture. Milling of wood takes quite a bit of material before it is fully usable for furniture construction.
    I suggest that you visit a dump site that takes yard and garden trash. If you are so concerned about wasting good wood your heart will soon bleed. Whole trees are chopped up and not used for anything else than mulch. I don’t know about you, but I would rather have these stools than mulch.

    It is too easy to be a tree-hugger from your living-room and criticizing designer and manufacturer.