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Bar stool - LEM Bar Stool

LEM Bar Stool

  • Object:

    Bar stool

  • Place of origin:

    London (designed)
    Italy (manufactured)

  • Date:

    1999 (designed)
    2000 (manufactured)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Azumi, Shin (designer)
    Azumi, Tomoko, born 1966 (designer)
    La Palma (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Steel, tubular steel and plywood

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Shin Azumi

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The name of this bar stool, LEM, is short for 'Lunar Excursion Module', and together with the sleek, futuristic appearance, it brings to mind space travel. The design entirely derives from simplified geometry and refined engineering. The chief feature is the steel band that frames the moulded plywood seat and also serves as the footrest. There is nothing extraneous in the design, and nothing that could be described as decorative. Nevertheless, the economy and restraint of the form give it great elegance.

The LEM bar stool has been a major commercial and critical success for its Japanese-born, British-resident designers, and the Italian manufacturer, with over 200,000 being made since its launch in 2000. This example is from the first production run and was given to the Museum by one of the designers, together with design drawings charting its development.

Physical description

Plywood and chrome-plated steel bar stool with a circular base supporting a tubular steel pedestal, incorporating a gas strut to adjust the height. The seat is formed from a bent plywood sheet with a steel frame that also forms the foot rest.

Place of Origin

London (designed)
Italy (manufactured)


1999 (designed)
2000 (manufactured)


Azumi, Shin (designer)
Azumi, Tomoko, born 1966 (designer)
La Palma (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Steel, tubular steel and plywood

Marks and inscriptions

La Palma
Manufacturers label applied to underside of seat


Height: 820 mm, Width: 355 mm, Depth: 440 mm, Diameter: 370 mm pedestal base

Object history note

The LEM Bar Stool was launched at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2000 and sales began in early 2001. Until 2008 about 200,000 examples had been made, at about 3,000 units per month.

Descriptive line

LEM bar stool, designed by Shin Azumi with Tomoko Azumi, 1999, made by La Palma, Italy, 2000, steel, plywood veneered in blached beech.

Production Note

The stool was designed during the period of partnership of Shin and Tomoko Azumi that endured until the end of their marriage in about 2005. During that period all designs were presented as co-authored. Subsequently the designers re-attributed various designs and determined that the LEM Bar Stool was principally the work of Shin Azumi. Nevertheless, in recognition that it was produced during the period of their partnership, Shin and Tomoko have agreed it should be attributed to 'Shin Azumi with Tomoko Azumi'. See RF 2008/201 for more information.

LEM stands for Lunar Excursion Module.

Attribution note: This example is from the first production run


Plywood; Tubular steel; Steel



Production Type

Mass produced


Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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