Designed By – Derek Johnston

Business Name – Upper Mountains Design






Design Inspiration

The Vertical stool was developed by Derek Johnston during 2018 / 2019 and is patent pending. Although kitchen benches and breakfast bars are at a nominal height, people come in all sizes. The stool was created to allow children through large adults to sit comfortably at a breakfast bar. The intent is to create a stool that was quick and easy to adjust, robust and inexpensive to manufacture.

The stool has a wide adjustment range of 600-900mm and includes a footrest that travels with the seat. Increasing the height simply requires the user to lift the seat, while lowering requires two levers to be activated to unlock and lower the seat. The action is quick and secure and the components are simple. Several prototypes have been built to initially prove the concept through to resolving design issues to achieve a near production ready product.

Further to this, the concept can be extended to vertically adjustable chairs, tables and other items. The main innovations are the application and execution of the locking system and traveling footrest. Construction methods include TIG welding for steel fabrication and use of high performance fasteners for timber joinery. Reclaimed or recyclable materials have been used extensively. 

Design Solution
The latest iteration is composed entirely of steel to achieve certainty with strength and durability. The seat is recycled Oregon, and felt pads have been applied to the feet to suit a polished concrete floor. At end of life, the product is easily disposted by recycling the steel frame and removing the seat for re-purposing, burning, composting. Zero landfill.

500mmW x 500mmD x 600-900mmH

Materials Used
Prototypes and mockups have been produced with various combinations of steel, plywood, Tasmanian oak, recycled oregon, recycled Sydney blue gum, recycled spotted gum

Green Notes
The use of reclaimed woods gives timber an extended lifespan and by not painting, the materials can ultimately be burned for heat or composted. At end of life, no portion of this product should end up in landfill.

Processes used in construction, including any new construction methods or applications adopted from other industry technologies 
The steel components are TIG welded which gives a neat appearance and very strong joints. For later iterations, laser cut components were used to improve accuracy and reduce manufacturing time.

Construction methods could be improved significantly if the product was made in a production type shop rather than small general purpose workshop. For the timber items, particular attention was paid to the securing fasteners to ensure very high pull out and head pull through strength as the forces acting on the legs are quite high.