Spring Wood by Carolien Laro


Spring Wood by Carolien Laro

Dutch graduate designer Carolien Laro has designed a range of stools with flexible seats created by cutting slits into their solid wood tops. 

Spring Wood by Carolien Laro

Above: Restless Legs

Called Springwood, the collection includes a three-seater bench and three stools, one on wheels, one without and another with folded steel legs, all with pliable wooden seats.

Spring Wood by Carolien Laro

Above: Original

Each seat requires 480 CNC-milled cuts.

Spring Wood by Carolien Laro

Above: The Paperclip

More furniture on Dezeen »

Spring Wood by Carolien Laro

Above: The Bridge

The following information is from manufacturers Ritmeester:

Spring Wood., developed by Carolien Laro, a graduated student at the Arts Academy St Joost and Amsterdam Wood and Furniture College.

Carolien searched for the limits of wood.... with great success! Carolien wanted to bring two contradictions of wood together: rigidity and flexibility. She succeeded, with the background of a party garland in mind.

Because our company does like to stimulate young talent we offered Carolien the opportunity to develop her concept of Spring Wood to a ‘ready to sell’ piece of furniture.

That seems simple but it is not. Carolien invested more than 600 hours (!) in the development of her hand made first prototype. So much work in one small stool is commercially not feasible so every technical detail had to be developed for the real production of her idea.

It was quite a journey and during 2010 she worked hard to developed a few versions of Spring Wood, apart from the original version’: These are: The Paperclip, Restless Legs and The Bridge.

Carolien was very successfull with her idea: she won the Wood Challenge Prize as well as a nomination for the IMI Award as well as the DOEN material prize.

Spring Wood seems very simple but it isn’t: it is very complex and laborious. Selecting the right ashwood and machining it. The glueing process followed by the CNC sawing: in total more than 480 CNC groove-milling steps are necessary for one ‘wooden pillow’....

See also:


Rubber Stool by
Flex by
Georgi Manassiev
Soft Oak chair
by Pepe Heykoop

Posted on Wednesday January 5th 2011 at 11:31 am by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • fabian

    like the idea and material-handling.
    but i wonder if you get bruises, after taking a seat..?!

  • polly

    "it is very complex and laborious. Selecting the right ashwood and machining it. The glueing process followed by the CNC sawing: in total more than 480 CNC groove-milling steps are necessary for one ‘wooden pillow’…."

    All credit to the designer but really, from the examples shown on this post, it does not seem worthwhile. There is nothing particularly attractive or smart about this use of wood.

  • nick

    cold coffee… http://www.dukta.com/

  • Rob

    I don't want to claim anything here, but I was recently at a design & furniture expo for young / upcoming designers, held here in Zürich (although the expo had also visited other countries/cities I believe). Anyway, there was a Swiss guy who had furniture made out of a very similar looking wood-cut-technique that allowed him to bend a flat piece of wood into a nice curved piece, and mixed with some type of hardening substance, it kept its curved shape. I was very interested and intrigued by the technique and when asking him about it, he said it was not his idea but one developed at the ETH Zürich (Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule), which they licensed out to people like him.

    (I just saw Nicks post, which might be linked to my story, but I can't see any pictures on the link provided)

  • Dani

    it's lovely, a wonderful idea! though I wonder how the wood doesn't just snap when it's sat on over and over again…

  • artimon

    First stool is very cool !
    Principle was also used by Herzog and Demeuron at the Tate Modern.

    Still nicely done here :-)

  • emu

    i would be afraid of the wood pinching legs or butt

  • NYC

    The Restless Legs stool is just awesome. Combining the outward rolling legs with the inward flexing (kerf cut) seat is brilliant.

  • Jake

    The God-King of Wood Springs: http://www.greggfleishman.com/furniture.html
    All Flat pack,
    Router cut,
    Plywood spring furniture.
    I think he did his first one in 1976.
    Now he does houses (http://greggfleishman.com/structures.html),
    and cars (http://greggfleishman.com/Vehicles.html.
    And I also heard a rumour he's doing the temple at Burning Man 2011!

  • me

    I love this idea. No thing wrong with it. And even when I know Dukta is making beautiful stuff, this Idea still very unique.

    Eames did not invent polyester but the idea to use i for a chair was still unique.

  • A good idea and a good job. Anyway, in real life, a good pillow would do the job for way less money. But this is design, you know…

  • benjamin

    it looks like pretty thick wiggle board..

  • ordinata

    Well if I wanted my bottom pinched, I'd buy one. ;o)

  • Anon

    "Each seat requires 480 CNC-milled cuts." Um, unless I'm counting wrong, there's 24 cuts into the top, and 22 into the bottom… so 46 passes on a table saw would do the trick. Not sure how they came up with 480 cuts, unless I suppose they don't do the cut in a single pass and cut takes at least 10 passes. I guess 480 sounds more impressive than 46.

  • herbedudiable
  • Katsudon

    Pinch me, i'm dreaming!

  • It's a really good idea ! I really want to sit it : D

  • molly

    A friend of mine did the exact same thing in the RISD graduate program in 2003, only made with cork. Besides the fact that this technique is not at all innovative or original, where are the aesthetics? Just because you "discovered" something wacky to do with a perfectly good piece of wood does not make that thing a good design. Two thumbs down.

  • very cool! It look like it is the most comfortable wooden stool!

  • These chairs are so cool and unique! Love the designs, I just hope it won't pinch! :)

  • It looks good, but how’s the quality? It looks like the design weakens the wood.