Basic Stool

Fabio Hendry and Seongil Choi (right) develop new production methods and use unusual materials for their design objects. Photographs: Hansruedi Rohrer

My favourite piece


I am always pleased when I come across surprising design works by ZHdK alumni without having to do a lot of research. At Zurich’s Designbiennale in autumn 2017, for instance, I discovered the former Style & Design student Fabio Hendry, whose London-based studio ilio was at the event. Fabio and his partner Seongil Choi have specialised in developing or adapting process methods and creating design objects with unusual materials, among others, human hair or nylon powder, which is a waste product of 3D printing.

This is particularly evident in their series “Hot Wire Extensions.” The nylon powder is melted and bonded to the sand using a heat source and sand, which serves as a filler and heat conductor. During the curing process, the mixture is transformed into a solid body and an object is created. Looking at the Basic Stool, its idiosyncratic stylistic idiom attracts our attention and evokes questions about its making. The fact that the object has grown organically around the heat source lends its idiosyncratic expression. It is difficult to classify compared to conventional stools made using well-known production methods. What is exciting about this and other works by Hendry is that he does not primarily consider how he wants to design his object. Using a new technology, he explores which repertoire of forms opens up through applying the new technology.

The prix netzhdk Jury must have been as enthusiastic about Fabio’s experiments as I was and chose him as 2018’s winner. Since the jurors came from the fields of art, music, art education, curating and design, I now have confirmation that Fabio’s work inspires not only experienced designers, but also experts from other artistic fields.


In this section, members of ZHdK present special things from everyday life at an arts university.
Other favourites
The prix netzhdk is awarded once a year by netzhdk, ZHdK’s alumni organisation. The prize, endowed with 10,000 Swiss francs, is aimed at graduates of ZHdK Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes.
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