TOLE

Tole is a stool inspired by the corrugated metal sheets used in old Mauritian houses and shops. It features a beautiful undulated wooden seat and a set of sturdy diagonal legs. While the undulations create a delightful interplay of light and shadows, they also fully utilised the strength of the structure.

Expertise

Design Development, Material Experimentation, CMF Design

Year of production
2018

Dimensions 

L 413 x W 356 x H 464 mm

Material

Queensland Blackwood veneer (core), Queensland Maple veneer, Mild Steel Tube & Rod

Finish

Hand-oiled, waxed

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THE FORGOTTEN CORRUGATED METAL SHEET
Corrugated metal sheet was a common material used in the construction of Mauritian houses and shops due to their low cost and structural strength. With modernisation, these cladded buildings were rapidly replaced by concrete ones as they were safer. Although this change led to a better lifestyle, the lack of documentation on these distinct buildings meant that part of Mauritius' history was lost.
Sketching process for Tole
Tole stool
REMEMBERING HISTORY
A stool was selected to incorporate corrugated metal sheet as it is a common furniture in Mauritian households. To show the inherent strength of the material, the corrugated structure is found on the seat. Additionally, the stool provides users the opportunity to feel the tactility of the material
CREATING CORRUGATED PLYWOOD
The seat was made using wooden veneer it is flexible and warm to the touch. Initially, a single lamination of veneers was intended to be used for the seat, but several testings revealed its structural shortcomings. Two layers of lamination, reinforced by metal bars, were used in the end.
A CONTEMPORARY TOUCH

To balance the warm touch of the wooden veneers, mild steel is used for the legs of the stool.

A metal rod is welded to both legs to strengthen the structure and to create a visual link with the seat through its sinuous shape.

Close view of Tole stool details
Welding the mild steel tubes together
Prototyping the stacking of the legs
Disassembled view of Tole stool
DESIGNED FOR STACKING & FLAT-PACKING
An A-frame design was selected for the legs to allow users to stack and move/store multiple stools.
The stool was designed to be flat-packed to increase the number of units shipped, thereby reducing the cost of a stool.

Making Mauritius' past relevant by re-interpreting the corrugated metal sheet in the form of furniture