Geneva-based interior architect Shizuka Saito has designed a furniture that can adapt to its environment. Coined the MINGLE stool, it’s a versatile seating solution that transforms according to the need.

Created with the support of the IKEA Foundation, this prototype introduces a series of wooden slabs and poles connected together via a series of hardware that allows it to extend from its current compact state and transform into a bench. 

Saito said MINGLE stool was developed “as an extensible element, which adapts to its environment and to different situations.” It functions as a single stool but can also be utilized as a bench that can sit three people. “Just like the changing situations of everyday life, MINGLE evolves with the situations in which it is used.” 

This furniture can be used in different setting be it in private spaces at home or in public places such as in offices, conference rooms, parks, museums, and more. “The image of the fixed stool is reinterpreted to make it flexible.” Users can easily manipulate it as he or she wishes thanks to the use of a system of pivots and axes that allow the stool to transform into a bench.

MINGLE essentially pushes the boundaries of the stool structure, which is often regarded as a rigid seating option that is “unsuited to a constantly changing context.” The name itself is explanatory of its purpose, which is to allow people to come together so they can sit on one chair and possibly mingle with each other. Saito says the design is “still evolving” but its concept is already promising. 

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Images courtesy of Shizuka Saito