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Article: The Lem Piston Stools : A Timeless Icon

Lem Piston Bar Stool

The Lem Piston Stools : A Timeless Icon

The LEM stool is a favorite for interior designers and architects. It has been named Product of the Year at the FX International Interior Design Awards in the year of its release and has received many more since.

What is it about the adjustable stool that makes it so popular?

LEM is iconic because of its innovative design. Steel, round shapes and sleekness are unified in this extraordinary piece, bringing into play the strength of the steel, the softness of the shapes and the lightness of the aesthetic.

The stool’s simple form belies a sophisticated understanding of materials and technology.


What inspired the design of the LEM Piston Stools?

The story has been told many times.

In 1969 the Apollo LEM - the Lunar Excursion Module landed on the moon.

In the year 2000, at the turn of the millennium, designers Shin & Tomoko Azumi aimed to replicate the lightness, and the absence of gravity, to create a void through a masterful design that would foster its relationship with the environment.

And so, the LEM Piston Bar Stool was born. A swivel stool with a light structure.


The Lem Stool - “A loop which is floating in the air”


The Apollo 11 could not bear unnecessary weights, and this  is exactly why the LEM Stool incorporates this function in its minimalist profile. Only the essential was kept, the rest stayed on the ground.


How can I customize my LEM stool?

The adjustable bar stool can be customized in a variety of finishes. Customizable parts include its seat, frame and gas lift. The paragraphs below will explain the different finishes.


Seat Finish

The seat can be finished in a number of ways, each one creating a different mood. The options for the seat finish are: wood, lacquer, laminate, metal, plastic, fabric or leather.

Wood, with its unique grains influence warmth and authenticity. Lacquer and laminate surfaces have a light shine that give them a rare polished elegance. Stainless steel is a metal that is classically contemporary, and a fabric or leather finish will give the stool an intimate and delightfully cozy feel.


Frame Finish

The frame can be finished in either one of 2 ways: stainless steel or powder coated. The steel finish suggests a contemporary and sophisticated aesthetic while the powder coated finishes are more soft, friendly and refined. There are eight color options for the powder-coated finishing.


Gas Lift

The stool is height adjustable thanks to the gas lift that is contained by a cylinder and is made gas-tight by piston rings. The gas lift can be customized in a mat chromed or powder coated finish.


Is the LEM stool comfortable?

Although there is only a low backrest, the ergonomic shape of the seat makes it very comfortable to sit on. The functional footrest adds stability, and the swivel and height-adjustable features make it easy and convenient.

Lem Piston Bar Stool



Lem Piston Bar Stool



Lem Piston Bar Stool


Lem Piston Bar Stool


The Designers: Shin & Tomoko Azumi

They had formed their own separate design studios in 2005. And then in London in 1995 the team of Shin Azumi and Tomoko Azumi formed Azumi studio and produced their best work. Both Shin and Tomiko trained first in Japan and then at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. Together they won numerous awards, including Product of the Year at the International Interior Design Awards in 2000 for the LEM Piston Stool.

Lem Piston Bar Stool


About Lapalma

Lapalma, the makers of the LEM stool, is a heritage brand with a family history of great craftsmanship in Italian design.

Joining craftsmanship with industrial techniques, efficient production and attention to detail, Lapalma produces and sells its quality designs in more than 81 countries around the world.

Continuous research is aimed at creating truly innovative solutions

Chairs, armchairs, stools and tables are the result of ongoing research, that interact with each other. More than the furniture pieces themselves, they are creating furniture systems that connect people by personalizing their environments.

View the entire Lapalma collection here.


 Lem piston bar stool

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