- Chris Connell Design
The MP Stool was commissioned by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation to provide seating for, internationally acclaimed architect, Glenn Murcutt’s 2019 MPavilion. The MP Stool is designed by prominent Melbourne designer Chris Connell in collaboration with local furniture company grazia&co. The stool makes reference to Murcutt’s pavilion design and materiality, and is influenced in form by the subtle curvature of the pavilion’s roof canopy. Steel fabricated oval tubes form the stool’s outer frame, with a perforated steel skin moulded overtop. The ‘primer red’ colour of the MP Stool creates a ceremonious contrast to Murcutt’s all-white MPavilion and symbolises Australia’s red earth.
The collaboration between revered local designer Chris Connell and experienced furniture maker Grazia Materia of grazia&co, is integral to the success of the MP Stool. Connell’s stool epitomises simplicity, quality and timeless design. It achieves utmost functionality and aesthetics without being overcomplicated. Influenced by the subtle curvature of Murcutt’s pavilion roof canopy, this paired back elegance abides by Murcutt’s ethos of, \”‘simplicity’— being the other face of complexity—must embody complexity, but must read in a very simple way.” Every element of the MP stool’s design, fabrication and materiality were carefully considered to ensure maximum user experience and minimum wastage.
It was vital to the brief that the MP Stool have very little environmental impact and that it be long-lasting and durable. Mild Steel was chosen as it is an entirely and easily recyclable material, which would ensure a long life well beyond the MP Stool’s initial use. The raw steel was then sandblasted to attain further life and longevity. Steel was used as the single product for all elements of the stool, in order to simplify fabrication, minimise room for error and maximise quality and efficiency. Additionally, the dimensions and construction of the stool were worked on to create the best possible yield and produce the least amount of wastage of raw materials.
Naomi Milgrom AC, founder of the Naomi Milgrom Foundation and MPavilion, expressed of the MP Stool: “To have Chris Connell, in conjunction with Gazia Materia, design and produce the MP Stool inspired by Glenn Murcutt’s architecture is a unique collaboration in Australian design and we’re excited to have brought these outstanding practices together.”
Aiming to connect to the wider community, Connell also presented a discussion and drawing workshop ‘From Brief to Product’ to share his wealth of knowledge about design. Throughout the MPavilion season, which attracts tens of thousands of visitors and students annually, the MP Stool stood as a true exemplar of the Australian creative industry.
The MP Stool by Chris Connell perfectly serves its brief, with elegance, subtlety and functionality at the forefront of the design. The stool graciously compliments Glenn Murcutt’s MPavilion, without overpowering it. It is versatile and can be seamlessly reconfigured in order to accommodate the varied events throughout the MPavilion season. It is also lightweight and stacks neatly for easy storage and transportation. The MP Stool needed to be extremely durable and resilient in order to withstand extreme elements and crowds of people, and is therefore made of a solid steel tube frame, which is covered with a light perforated steel mesh to add a touch of lightness and grace to the structure.