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Magazine > Stool 5

Inroduction / Other Stools Stories:

During the last two months, Adi Hemer accompanied Yaakov Kaufman on his selection and cataloging process, towards the exhibition "Stools" that will open in the museum next week. The many hours she spent with the stools made it possible for her to acquaint herself with the stools and witness their every nuance. What at first seemed like a vast millipede horde slowly turned into singular stools, single sons. Within the next few weeks we will showcase a single stool every couple of days. We will focus on each stool and unfold its narrative.  
Yaacov Kaufman - Stools

The Last Stool?

Kaufman closed the door behind him, went into the workshop, and apologized for the noise the machines were about to make.

No more than twenty minutes later the door opened. Kaufman came out, shook the dust from his clothes, and removed his safety goggles. In his hand he held an object that one might suspect was another stool. Surprised, I asked if it was indeed a new stool, and he said it was.

Stools - Yaacov Kaufman
In Yaacov Kaufman's studio | Photograph: Adi Hemer

"Hot, straight out of the oven! It's a stool with a spring. It's the brother of several others possessing a similar principle".

Looking satisfied, he immediately sat down on the new stool, its seat moved in a kind of circular movement due to three steel rods. Kaufman had bent the rods identically, which made them reminiscent of a large spring, like the ones you see in playgrounds. I asked him if he thinks the day will come when he'll have had his fill of designing and producing stools. He said: ‘I'm not sure... look... there's always an opportunity to make another stool. And that will continue until there's something else instead. After all, the stool is just an excuse. A stool is comfortable, but it could just as well be any other object... Maybe it will come to an end when the Museum finally takes them out of the studio', and he smiled.

Stools - Yaacov Kaufman
The stool in its birthplace | Photograph: Adi Hemer

This was Stool No. 361, and to remove any doubt by the next day it had already lost its aura as the ‘last stool'. The furnace and the machines didn't stop working. When I came back exactly one week later an entire family was already waiting for me.

Stools - Yaacov Kaufman
Yaacov Kaufman, no rest for designers | Photograph: Adi Hemer

Kaufman's constant and ongoing work as an ardent researcher for whom every minor detail of everyday life can be an incentive for a new idea, and every problem merits attention and providing a solution, raises questions concerning a designer's ability to innovate. Does the ability to innovate come to an end? When is innovation no longer exciting? Do designers-researchers never stop creating and making simply because they can't do otherwise? Or do they understand the magnitude of the responsibility placed on them by society as those dictating cultures of object usage? I'd put my money on the first option.

Stools - Yaacov Kaufman
Handsome and stylish at a photo shoot in the Museum | Photograph: Itay Benit


Inroduction / Other Stools Stories:

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