The Roof Stool

Trang Nguyen

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam | Wood: cherry, red oak and hard maple

Huyen Trang Nguyen is an interiors and furniture designer based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Trang graduated from the University of Architecture HCM city in 2019. She won the first prize of the Hoa Mai competition in 2018, co-organized by AHEC, and was also one of the winners of the Creative ASEAN Furniture Design contest 2018. Trang has always been fascinated by Vietnamese traditional-inspired furniture and that’s the reason for bringing her to the aspiration of renewing traditional values.

‘I felt very lucky when I had the opportunity to work with Nathan. He has so much experience and he wanted us to express who we are.’
  • The design process

    The inspiration behind Nguyen’s stools came from the roof tiles of traditional Vietnamese temples, which overlap, hiding the connecting screws beneath them. In the same way, when the stools are stacked, the pins and joints disappear from view. Looking at the stool from the side it’s also possible to see the silhouette of a traditional Vietnamese dress.

  • The making of the final piece

    Nguyen decided to make her piece from American cherry, hard maple and cherry and selected contrasting timbers for the pins in the joints. ‘Wood is my favourite material,’ she says. ‘In Vietnam we never work with cherry but I think it’s an attractive material because of its texture and its warm colour.’ The red oak and maple, meanwhile, provide a pleasing counterpoint. ‘I chose the three different types of wood because of their colour differences. By randomly using two of the species for the pins and another for the rest for the stool, users can explore the different timbers when they unstack each one.’

  • The end result

    ‘During the pandemic, rather than gather in public places, we’ve tended to spend more time in each other’s homes,’ reasons Nguyen, ‘So we need more chairs than we normally would.’ To solve this particular issue, she has created The Roof Stool, a small stackable stool that is both simple and delightful in broadly equal measure. The stools provide additional seats, while creating a beautiful composition when not in use.