Creative Brief: Flip Stools

Spun aluminum parts stack

The design process at MIO always starts with research. The key to a successful product is identifying the right opportunity. With Flip we wanted to design greater functional and aesthetic flexibility into casual seating and tables. When looking at these categories we realized that few products embodied our ideas of accessible customization and design for disassembly, maintenance and recycling.



Flip Stool design in CAD transparency

Flip Stool Renderings

The research led us to asking some questions about the function of the tables and stools. Could customization serve utilitarian purposes and not only aesthetic ones? If so, what are the critical functions of social seating and stools? What would be the proper scale and relationship between them? Could elements of the social interactions that take place in casual seating be somehow incorporated into the aesthetics and function of the product? These are just a few of the questions that challenged us.

Cardboard mockups of Flip Stools

Paper scale mockup of Flip Stools

With the research in mind we brainstormed on ways to employ our existing manufacturers to create seating and tables that would support the kinds of interactions we wanted to foster. We sketched a variety of concepts that incorporated the materials used in the factories we partner with to find a solution. In the end, we found that the forms and structure provided by spun components presented both a familiar language for seating and tables as well as form giving flexibility.

Flip Stools being spun

The same factory that makes the L-XL Lamp in New York makes our Flip components and the factory in Pennsylvania who crafts our Two Tone Tables makes the tops. The result is a durable set of components that can be configured in hundreds of ways to achieve a variety of looks and functionality.

Flip Stool being spun