Inspired by possibilities
Is it possible to combine the attributes of a chair and a stool?
Stools are great because they are neat and easy to stow and tuck away under tables and desks allowing their environment to stay clean and uncluttered. However, without a backrest they’re not as supporting and comfortable as their big brother, the chair. So, can we create a product that has a backrest the instant you sit down and automatically disappears when its not required?
This is the challenge that designer James Lucas set himself, and Chool is the result.
Design process – a search for the perfect shape
The biggest challenge faced by James was finding a suitable shape for chool which worked in both chair and stool modes. At the same time it was important to create enough room to house the all important mechanism that makes the magic happen.
Here is an early CAD drawing of the patented mechanism.
What lies beneath
The all-important patented mechanism is what brings chool to life.
When someone sits on chool the entire seating pod smoothly descends 8cm to a standard seating height, this action simultaneously activates a leverage mechanism housed inside the pod which erects a full size backrest. When the user decides to get up and walk away, chool slowly, in around 3 to 4 seconds, returns to its resting stool mode. This is controlled by an adjustable gas oil damper in such a way that you hardly feel the movement at all.
Our challenge was to find a mechanism that was highly durable and whisper quiet in operation.
We experimented with a variety of different solutions but settled on a mechanism which cleverly exploits the use of levers and rollers. Every component within the mechanism has been custom designed for the task to ensure that it meets the demands of the design and ensures the fluid running of the product.
Not only does the mechanism work like a charm, it is also designed to look good enough to be a feature of its own. Watch this space for future designs where the mechanism will be visible for all to see.
Materials and manufacture
Chool is primarily constructed from laser-cut aluminum which is then formed into chassis and most of the parts in the internal mechanism.
The aluminum chassis houses the mechanism and forms the seat which the fabric and foam cushion sits upon.
Chool rests on precision bent tubular steel legs finished with polymer feet.
The side pods are either vinyl-faced MDF or walnut-faced birch ply.
The backrest is made from aluminum wrapped in shaped foam and again upholstered in fabric.
Chool is designed and built in London and all of the materials and suppliers are locally sourced.
We’re proud to support our city and its businesses and help minimise our carbon footprint by keeping things as local as possible.
Contemporary – retro
Designer, James Lucas has always been a fan of contemporary retro styling in design and he has echoed these influences in his work on chool.
The combination of vibrant materials, interesting textures, wooden finishes and metal elements takes a fresh design idea and gives it some old school charm.
Have a look at our styling options to see how you can create your very own chool.
The modular design enables any damaged parts to be easily replaced or repaired which helps to extend the life cycle of the product.
When necessary, chool can be easily disassembled and all parts can be recycled.
Part of our ongoing development plan is to neutralise the environmental impact of the product and our long term goal is to make purchasing chool an environmentally regenerative process.