In our interview with Michel Charlot about his lamp U-Turn for Belux he told us that “I like it when people look at an object and find it “normal”, but that is something which is quite difficult to achieve….”
Such an object is without question Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto.
As so to help explain the complexity hidden in the simplicity, and celebrate the object’s 80th anniversary, the Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft are staging an exhibition during IMM Cologne 2013 devoted to this classic of early 20th century furniture design.
Organised by the Alvar Aalto Museo, Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft is not an extensive exhibition. But then it does solely concentrate on one, formally relatively simple, object.
But what it does offer is fantastic depth. In the course of the presented objects and clearly written texts the exhibition explains the background to Alvar Aalto’s forays into furniture design, the nature of the cooperation with the carpenter Otto Korhonen, technical aspects of the wood bending processes Aalto and Korhonen developed, the production process of Stool 60, etc, etc
And it is this depth that makes it so enjoyable. And rewarding.
After viewing this exhibition we guarantee you will understand just what a high quality, technical masterpiece and genuinely innovative design object the “Oh so simple!” looking three legged birch stool really is.
In addition a number of books on Alvar Aalto are available for all who either want to learn more about his complete canon in general or more specifically to place Stool 60 in, for example, the context of his other furniture or inter-war architecture.
All in all we can thoroughly recommend Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft and hope that it will soon be displayed elsewhere, because, much like its subject, it is a very well conceived and executed piece of work.
And if you are planning going, and if you are in large group do ask the Archiv in advance about a guided tour of Oswald Mathias Ungers library and house.
Such is only available with advance booking, but is worth it.
Not only do you get rare insight into the methodology and philosophy of one of Germany’s most important 20th century architects and architectural theorists, but in the context of the library you also get to experience one of the most comprehensive and enchanting private architecture libraries you’re likely to come across.
Indeed, given the number of architectural tours organised during IMM, it’s strange that they don’t offer visiting architects and journalists the chance to view the Oswald Mathias Ungers Archiv.
Might be something worth considering for next year….
Stool 60 by Alvar Aalto can be viewed at Ungers Archiv für Architekturwissenschaft, Belvederestraße 60 D-50933 Cologne until Sunday January 20th 2013
A few impressions.