The collection
Cylindrical stool formed of a single piece of red plastic with accordion folds and a slightly rounded top.

Stool, ErgoErgo

Designed by
Alan Heller (born 1940)
Recyclable polyethylene
Produced by
ErgoErgo Inc., New York, New York
49.5 x 40.5 x 40.5 cm

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of David A. Hanks in memory of Tessa Craib-Cox, 2012.31

The playful ErgoErgo stool, named to reference “ergonomic,” has a serious purpose to encourage good health. Heller’s wife discovered that sitting on a large exercise ball was better for her back than sitting in a desk chair, which encourages slumping posture and shortening of the abdominal muscles.

Since only the center was necessary as a sitting surface, the sphere could be pared down to a column. Heller’s patented accordion tube of a stool rocks in 360° from the center, and the lack of stability in the structure forces users to stabilize themselves by using their core muscles, strengthening their bodies as they sit.

The Stewart Program for Modern Design, photo: Denis Farley.