burr puzzle stool

A jumble of hot-pink aluminum tubes come together to form a stool using an ancient ‘burr puzzle’ method of assembling the pieces. You-De Chen and Chin-Hua Lin have modernized the wood burr puzzle, in which six wood pieces in two different shapes are joined in a particular way to create extremely strong joints. In the new version, fourteen pieces of metal in four shapes form a more complex type of joinery.

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burr puzzle stool detail
burr puzzle stool mortise

This results in an even stronger structure than a conventional burr puzzle, which is a symmetrical, three-dimensional unit of notched, interlocking pieces. A six-piece burr, also known as a ‘puzzle knot’ or ‘Chinese cross,’ is the most common type.

burr puzzle stool joints
burr puzzle stool leg

This stool is more than just a practical piece of furniture; the process is just as important as the finished result. The user takes on the assembly of the piece both as a fun challenge and a means of gaining a deeper appreciation for its construction (in contrast to the not-so-fun challenge of putting together furniture from a certain Swedish retailer.)

burr puzzle stool colors

It’s available via 1stDibs starting at $3,500.

“Chin-Hua Lin and You-De Chen explored and have adapted the traditional Chinese mortise and Tenon technique in connecting wood method in the ‘burr puzzle’ stool. The main principle of a ‘burr puzzle’ is assembling wood pieces in specific order and limiting each of the pieces movement only by the notches of the wood, which eventually creates a firm and solid connection. The entire 42 x 54 x 82 cm stool is assembled only using the metal mortises.”

About Chin-Hua Lin:

“Chinhua Lin is a keen observer of human behavior and has a strong sense of empathy, leading her designs to emphasize the human experience and sensation. Her interest in understanding material fabrication and her skill in production helps her bring out the best performance in materials. Lin’s material exploration includes textile manipulations that bring sensational experience to people. Lin’s previous work has won the Red Dot Award, Best of the Best, which has been featured in publications including designboomDesign MilkArtsy, and also exhibited in Design Miami and Gallery All. Lin holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design from Tatung University, Taiwan.”