Satsuki Ohata came up with the idea for the Fondue Stool while saturating chunks of bread in the molten cheese mixture of the popular Alpine dish, fondue. The result was presented as part of the Salone Satellite exhibition for emerging designers at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, from 14 to 19 April.
Using pieces of household sponge with a high absorption rate to imitate the bread, Ohata constructed stools with long legs and large seat platforms before dunking them in vats of bright yellow PVC plastic. The sponge is left to absorb the liquid and then lifted out and propped up to dry. The elongated limbs of the stools sag and contort under the weight of the saturated material as it sets.
Wooden rods are used to support the stools in an upright position during the hour-long drying process, causing minimal interference with the natural shape produced by gravity. The spindly sponge legs compress under the weight of the liquid plastic during the process to create wobbly outlines that vary from piece to piece, but once dried the structures are completely rigid.