A Design Classic Reimagined: Artek Stool 60

By Marianne Colahan / Published by Dwell
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Designed in 1933 by Alvar Aalto, the Artek Stool 60 is the definition of functionalist furniture design. This simple stool is a versatile piece—it can be used as casual seating at a kitchen table, as a side table, or as extra seating. The Dwell Store features several versions of the Artek Stool 60, including anniversary editions and several collaborations from acclaimed designers.

Stool 60 is defined by its circular seat and three bent legs, which became a signature of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s furniture designs. The clever curves of the legs enable the stools to be stacked easily when not in use. The stacked stools create a cascade of birch legs, which creates a distinctly sculptural look.

In honor of the Stool 60’s 80th anniversary in 2013, Artek relaunched the stools with the anniversary edition collection, which is characterized by colored seats. The colors were chosen by Artek as a nod to the Aalto-designed Paimio Sanitorium, which was completed in 1932. The stools are inspired by the colors that were used in the tuberculosis hospital, including the sunny yellow floors, soft green walls and vivid turquoise railings.

In addition to the colorful anniversary editions, Artek reintroduced the Stool 60 in collaboration with prominent contemporary designers, including the Mike Meire edition Stool 60, which reimagines the iconic stool in various multicolor options that are both unexpected and refined.

Artek’s anniversary collection also includes a saturated, all-red stool from Tom Dixon, a playful black and white stool from Rei Kawakubo, and a moose leather seat designed in collaboration with Monocle. The series also features a completely pared down version of the stool—aptly named "Pure"—which is crafted from unfinished birch. A favorite for eighty years, Alvar Aalto’s Stool 60 is a timeless design that will seamlessly fit into the modern home.

Marianne Colahan


Marianne writes for the Dwell Store. Her favorite designs are those that marry unexpected elements—a subtle silhouette is met with brilliant pattern; an everyday, functional item is crafted in luxe materials, and so on. In addition to writing about modern design objects, Marianne holds an MFA in Fiction and writes short essays. Originally from Massachusetts, Marianne lives and writes in Colorado. In her free time, Marianne enjoys skiing and hanging out with her husband and bearded dog, Briggs.

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