Folding chairs are great in theory, but most traditional designs are often bulky and unwieldy in both folded and unfolded form — defeating the whole point of impromptu seating. Now Belgian design company Materialise.MGX has solved this folding chair dilemma with their beautifully designed One Shot Stool. With a little help from rapid prototyping production, they’ve created a chair that gracefully twists from a narrow staff into a functional stool in a matter of seconds. In the folded position, the One Shot Stool is barely larger than a walking stick, making storage and transport a breeze. Once unfolded, it provides a sturdy little seat that is as functional as it is engaging.

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The brainchild of Patrick Jouin, formerly of Phillipe Stark’s studio in Paris, the stool is the product of a highly-specialized rapid prototyping process called Selective Laser Sintering, in which the stool and all its moving parts are cut from a single piece of material. Utilizing a special laser, the procedure churns out a 3D model which maintains its kinetic properties by integrating its hinges within its construction. The unique and compactable unit has been making waves since its debut at the Salon Del Mobile Milan in April 2006 and has been purchased for the MOMA NY Collection and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.

+ Materialise.MGX