The Ulmer Stool from Max Bill is a well-received classic piece of furniture that can be used as a simple stool, an unusual coffee table, a bed-side table or a mobile stand for books and magazines.
Max Bill designed the Ulmer Stool in 1954. He was the first director of the Ulmer University of Design HfG, and designed the stool together with Hans Gugelot for the students of the HfG. Since money was tight, the furniture was made in the school's own carpentry workshop. The stool had the advantage of being easy to carry with great stability, so the students used it as a support frame for their documents.
The design was exclusively focused on functionality: The round wooden bar (initially made out of a broom’s rod) gives stability to the stool but also serves as a carrying handle. It can therefore be used flexibly as a chair, table or shelf, but also as a serving tray, table top or to transport items. The Ulmer Stool is a good example of a design that succeeded coming from a sense of urgency.
Today, the stool is a true design classic! Its popularity grew steadily over the years, not only because of its versatility, but also due to its minimalist design. It is ideal for home-use as well as for public places, such as museums, galleries, shops, offices, hotels or schools.