Herman Miller Setu Stool
The Geometry of Comfort
As with its sibling the Setu office chair, the Setu Stool has only a height adjustment; you merely sit, and the stool reacts to you. Two design innovations make this responsiveness possible. The stool's Kinematic Spine combines strength and flexibility to bend and move automatically with you. The Lyris 2 elastomeric suspension fabric not only conforms to you, but also lets air circulate so your body remains cool.
"Shave it down to the absolute minimum."
Setu was created by the four designers of Studio 7.5 in Berlin, Germany: The Yogi, MacGyver, The Style Police, and the Master of Geometry. These are the affectionate nicknames of Claudia Plikat, Roland Zwick, Carola Zwick, and Burkhard Schmitz, who work together like a highly evolved organism—extremely agile, innovative, and eco-friendly. Their affectionate nickname for us is "the blueprint of the ideal client"—because of our long-term dedication to research, which they share.
They retooled the design over and over, until they had the flexible spine they envisioned.
The Kinematic Spine
Studio 7.5 built 35 fully functioning prototypes—the first model of the Kinematic Spine was a chain—before honing in on the final design of this stool. The spine, the heart of the stool, took a long time to develop. Before Setu, the seat and back of all kinematic chairs had to be separated and controlled with a hinge. But once Studio 7.5 found the perfect material—polypropylene—and perfected the math and retooled the design over and over, they had the one-piece, flexible spine they had envisioned.
Inspired by nature with its spiraling shape and contours, this unique feature was perfected by technology. Every bend, every corner, and every line were painstakingly shaped, reshaped, and reshaped again, to create a balance between support and flexibility that lets Setu adapt to everyone.
Inherent Environmental Concern
As to environmental issues, Claudia says, "It's inherent. We don't discuss it anymore. It's part of our job to only design products that don't use up too much material or too much energy. We tried to shave it down to the absolute minimum." Less stool means less energy and material required to manufacture it. And it's 93 percent recyclable.