An innovative take on the traditional Portuguese stool allows users to custom-build the perfect perch and keep a fire going at the same time
Joao Timoteo and Helena Fernandes' innovative take on the traditional Portuguese stool – Mocho – allows users to custom-build the perfect perch.
Intended to be used fireside, the Mocho comes with an inbuilt saw, which can be used to lop off chunks of wood for the hearth, with the bench shrinking as the evening wears on.
The project emerged from a brief to re-design the Portuguese traditional stool in two weeks, as part of the master's product design course at ESAD-Caldas da Rainha in Portugal.
"Helena and I got together and decided to deconstruct the idea of the stool," says Timoteo. "We wanted to associate the object directly with its cultural context – the fireplace is often a place for socialising in Portugal."
Wooden trestles with a V shape cut from the centre are designed to support a length of firewood. Used as a pair they create a bench, or singly, a stool. The "brackets" can be cranked up or down to the desired height and, for transit purposes, can be interlocked.
"The trunk is the part defined by the user. The height of the stool and the number of people it can seat are mutable according to the piece of wood that is necessary in the fireplace," Timoteo explains.
"The brackets follow the original form of the Portuguese stool and use the Vs to fit the trunk. We also wanted it to be possible for the two brackets to join up to help minimise the space that the object occupies."
At present, Timoteo and Fernandes make the stool to order, but they are in discussion with shops to distribute it more widely.